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Islanders seeing mixed results under Patrick Roy

February 14, 2024, 8:58 PM ET [129 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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It’s been a little over three weeks since the New York Islanders made the decision to replace Lane Lambert with Patrick Roy, and so far, the results have been mixed.

The Islanders have gone 3-3-2 under Roy, at times showing more signs of life, while at others, looking like the same team as they were under Lambert. After an initial win over Dallas in Roy’s debut, the Islanders went on to drop three straight games heading into the All-Star Break, despite being able to draw positives from a couple of those losses. New York did start getting some results after the break in wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, but two somewhat disappointing efforts against the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken halted pretty much any traction.

As was the case under Lambert, the team still struggles with period-to-period, and game-to-game inconsistency, as shown in their last two losses. The Islanders fell into too large of a hole to climb out of against the Flames, followed by a game against Seattle where the team struggled to get much going at even strength at all.

Much like the rest of the season to this point, even when it seems like the team may be able to build a bit of momentum, disappointing performances follow. The games against Calgary and Seattle, where they’re facing non-playoff teams at home, are points the team can’t let slip away at this point in the season. These weren’t situations where the Islanders put forth a good game and came up short, but instead where New York wasn't really the better team for a lot of the matchup. There were stretches where the Islanders were getting stuck in their own end for minutes on end, and weren’t generating consistent offense.

By a certain point this season, it seemed like a coaching change was pretty much inevitable, and wasn’t a matter of if, but when. Now that the change has been made though, a lot of responsibility falls on the players to turn things around. Roy can bag-skate the Islanders at practice to try to spark a bit of intensity, but it's the players who need to take charge.

The Islanders currently sit 11th in the Eastern Conference in points percentage with just 29 games to go. They haven’t seen any sort of an increase in scoring under Roy, and a trade for major help doesn’t necessarily seem likely. While the Bo Horvat deal came at a time last year where New York was slipping out of the playoff picture as well, at a certain point, the team does have to pull back a bit and retain future assets. Lou Lamoriello has shown to be extremely aggressive in improving his roster, but pouring assets into an attempt to save a season that may be headed in the wrong direction is a huge risk, at best.

There’s still a bit of time to turn things around with the group as currently constructed, and the team initially showed promise under Roy. But still very early on in Roy’s tenure, the Islanders have already begun to look flat over the last couple games, and the final third of the season will be about whether the coaching change truly was a needed difference-maker, or whether the roster itself may not be strong enough.

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