Record: 37-35-10 84p (5th in the Metropolitan)
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
Head Coach Barry Trotz, F – Austin Czarnik (DET), D – Zdeno Chara, D – Andy Greene, D – Thomas Hickey
Head Coach Lane Lambert, D – Alexander Romanov
I’m going to be honest, I have no idea what the hell Lou Lamoriello is doing with this team. The New York Islanders are an abysmal team that only has success because of the forced trap system put upon them by Lamoriello. The firing of Barry Trotz made absolutely no sense, and I wouldn’t expect much change under Lane Lambert.
Just looking at the depth chart for the Islanders I don’t see many desirable players on this team. Why Lou insists on having players like Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri on his roster when their best years are way behind them, and then you have the so called “best fourth line in the NHL” with Matt Martin (3g, 4a, 7p), Casey Cizikas (10g, 6a, 16p), and Cal Clutterbuck (6g, 9a, 15p) is outright laughable given how there are much more productive, both offensively and defensively, fourth lines throughout the NHL. And then a lot of the guys that populate the first line for the Islanders, they would most likely be bottom six forwards for any other quality team, with maybe the exception to Mathew Barzal (if he can round out his game to become a more complete player) and Anders Lee. Brock Nelson is a solid player, but was his 37 goals in 2021-22 because he is that good, or because the talent is that lacking on Long Island that he was the beneficiary of a good season because of being placed higher in the lineup than he would on a normal team?
Oliver Wahlstrom should be given better opportunities to succeed with the Islanders, but I think a trade to a new team would be better for him at this rate. Speaking of trades, the only good move Lou did make was acquire defenseman Alexander Romanov from Montreal, who a lot of us were surprised how quickly the Canadiens gave up on him. Romanov is going going to be a solid defender in the near future.
I would talk about any of the signings, but Lou hasn’t done any as of me writing this (Sept. 13th), and I don’t anticipate any real movement either. The Islanders are not going to be a good team. They’ll be competitive, but they will not be good. Anyone thinking they are a playoff is delusional. If they get even a sniff of the playoffs it’s mainly because they got the breaks going their way, but outside that, it should be a long season in Long Island.