After NY Islanders fans have been begging and pleading for Lane Lambert to be let go by Islanders management, the day has finally come. After losing seven of their last nine games, GM Lou Lamoriello pulled the trigger, firing Lambert. Lambert will be replaced by former NHL goaltender, Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe, Jack Adams, and Stanley Cup winner Patrick Roy.
This head coach change is coming off of one of the most embarrassing losses the Islanders have had thus far. Last night, the Islanders lost 4-3 in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the worst teams in the NHL. Lambert continued to blame the players for their "careless" and passionless play, but couldn't look himself in the mirror after every awful loss this season. Fans needed Lambert to finally say "I can do better," but it seemed as though the former head coach was ready to blame everyone but himself.
With an Islanders team that has been struggling in every aspect of the game as of late, a new head coach seems to be exactly what the Islanders need. The former NHL goaltender is known as a "no nonsense kind of coach," per Rob Taub. This is the kind of coach the Islanders have needed all season, with unacceptable mistakes coming in the final minutes of games and during pivotal moments. Roy knows how to win games and will hold players accountable, hopefully without scratching young and upcoming players for mistakes that veterans make but are never punished for. He's vocal during games, and will call players out for their mistakes. He coaches with passion and pride which makes his players play the same.
This season has been one of the worst since before the Barry Trotz era, reminding many of a time when Jack Capuano was in charge. A time no one wants to return to. Having a new head coach finally gives the Islanders someone to work for. This team has lost its passion and drive, and Roy will bring a new voice into the locker room and behind the bench. It's time to shock the system, and Roy can do just that. He knows how to win and how to bring teams back from their worst. His time as the head coach of the Quebec Remptarts has left them as one of the most disciplined and well-structured teams in the QMJHL. This hiring also comes with possible improvements to the games of Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov, two goaltenders who have struggled under Lambert's coaching style. Varlamov was the starting goaltender for the Avalanche through Roy's tenure with the team, finishing with a record of 102-84.
Heading into the back end of the season and the All-Star break, it is crucial turnaround time for this team that hasn't had a coach who knows how to get them there. This team knows how to win, and with a coach who knows how to coach winners, there's excitement to see what comes from having Patrick Roy behind the bench.
Roy, former Quebec Remparts head coach has won both the Memorial Cup and QMJHL Championship during his time as head coach. He has coached the Remparts from 2012-2013 and then again from 2018-2023. Roy is also the former Colorado Avalanche head coach (2013-2016) and is a Jack Adams award winner, finishing with a record of 130-92-24.