Figuring out this NY Islanders team has been anything but simple. In the team's first nine games of the season, the Isles took 12 points despite their lackluster play. There have been shouts regarding the team's play of late, but they were still accumulating points.
In the four games since, the Isles have picked up just a single point, although last night, they looked to be the better team on the ice for the majority of the game.
Head Coach Lane Lambert has been one of the punching bags for Isles fans through the team's poor run of play, but Lambert still believes his message is getting through to his players. When asked this question in his post-game press conference, Lambert responded with a staunch, "Yeah, I do."
While chants of "fire Lambert," reigned down from the crowd at UBS Arena last night, Casey Cizikas, a lifelong Islander, defended his bench boss with some choice words for the Isles faithful.
“It’s a joke,” Cizikas said to Andrew Gross of Newsday. “It’s a joke. That kind of stuff ticks me off. It really does. I’ve got no time for those fans. I’ve got no time for them." Cizikas would add, “If they want to be like that, they can stay home, he added.”
It's difficult to pin last night's performance of Lambert, as the Isles were getting their chances but failed to get more than one goal past Hunter Shepard, who was starting just the second game of his career.
Of the Islanders' 95 shot attempts, the most since April 11, 2015 (the final regular season at Nassau Coliseum.... at the time), only Alexander Romanov managed to beat Shepard, as he was flailing outside his goal.
Whether it's being snake-bitten or the product of a struggling team, mistakes from the Islanders seem to be ending up in the back of their net more often than not.
"We have some decisions that are made and some errors that are made that are really costing us," Lambert said. "There was a change on the second goal that can't happen. These types of things, when you make these mistakes, you find yourself on the losing end. To answer your question, how do you get out of it? You need to stop making these mistakes."
The Isles head to Western Canada and Seattle for their next four games - their first extended road trip of the season. The Isles will need to secure points during this trip, or their season and people's jobs could be in peril upon returning to Long Island.