3 NY Islanders still feeling the effects of Lane Lambert's tenure

The fatigue is starting to set in on the Isles' blue line.

Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and
Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Alexander Romanov

With the overload of injuries on defense, Lou Lamoriello sought help both internally and externally. Samuel Bolduc was the first choice but struggled through 33 games played, only averaging 10 minutes of ice time. Grant Hutton was the next option but was sent back to Bridgeport after the Isles claimed Mike Reilly off waivers from the Florida Panthers. Finally, the team traded a 7th-round selection in the 2024 draft to the St. Louis Blues for Robert Bortuzzo, who has only played 14 games in an Islanders uniform.

Suffice it to say, none of these players became regulars other than Reilly who has been an absolute steal. When the injuries struck, the Isles needed to find a linemate to pair with Dobson in carrying the extra ice time. The most worthy option on the roster was 24-year-old Alexander Romanov who was reinventing himself to add more offense to his game. Playing alongside Dobson, Romanov showcased his improvements recording 5 goals and 8 assists in 49 games through January. He also earned more ice time, playing more than 24 minutes on 13 occasions.

Unfortunately, those numbers have not held constant in February and March. Romanov has just two goals and two assists in 21 games having recorded zero shots on goal in eight. Roy has paired the 24-year-old with Pulock in recent games and the results have not improved. With Lambert on the hot seat in November and December, he often left his two young stars on the ice more than the average defenseman. As a result, Romanov has seen a decline in performance level as the Isles enter the final stretch of 11 games.