Amid a four-game losing streak, the New York Islanders have made a head coaching change. On Saturday, the Islanders announced that they have fired Lane Lambert and hired Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy as his replacement.
The Islanders have been losing ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race for a couple of weeks now, and overtime losses were barely keeping them afloat in standings. An overtime loss to the 31st-ranked Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night was apparently enough for Lou Lamoriello top pull the trigger on a change.
Lambert was in his second season as the Islanders head coach, and he compiled an overall record of 61-46-20. Lambert did take the Islanders to the postseason in his first year on the job, but they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round.
Lambert’s replacement will be one of the greatest goalies ever to strap on a pair of pads, and Roy will begin his second stint as a head coach. The last time Roy was behind the bench was when he coached the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons from 2013-16.
In the 2013-14 season, Roy coached the Avs to a 52-22-8 record and a first-place finish in the Central Division. However, Colorado was upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Minnesota Wild.
In Roy’s two seasons after that, the Avalanche took noticeable steps backward, and he was fired after a 39-39-4 season in 2015-16.
Roy will take over an Islanders team that is 19-15-11 and two points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Isles need a spark if they are going to make a serious playoff push, and clearly Lamoriello believes Roy is the right person to do just that.