New Coach Lane Lambert Aims to Regain Old Identity for Islanders

Lane Lambert’s appointment as the Islanders’ head coach was more about restoring the team’s identity than building a new one.

His methods began to emerge on Thursday when Lambert officially led practice for the first time during training camp.

“The new voice is simply my voice,” said Lambert, who was Barry Trotts’ top assistant last season. Waived in May after the Islanders missed the playoffs“It’s a different way of communicating and speaking. There’s nothing wrong with the old voice when it comes to what he did, but it’s certainly different for me now. I’m a demanding, passionate guy.” The players know that, they respect that and I respect them.”

The Islanders aren’t expected to drastically change the way they play under Lambert, but it won’t all be the same.

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert practices during training camp at Northwell Health Ice Center.
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Defenseman Noah Dobson told the Post, “From the few meetings and day one, I think they really want to be aggressive in all three areas of the zone.” gaps, rising on the ice and aggressiveness are greatly emphasized.”

That emphasis is a departure from how the Islanders played last season, which prioritized defensive structure over rush contribution.

Aggressive turned out to be a buzzword in the dressing room.

“He wants to be more aggressive, he wants to be threatening all the time,” said center Matthew Berzal.

When it comes to Lambert’s communication style, players find him straightforward and willing to hold them accountable. They believe it should help them regain the rhythm that slipped from them during the disastrous 2021-22 season.

“Think towards the end [of the season], we were back to it. We were getting back to being a tough team to play against,” center Jean-Gabriel Pagot told the Post. “And I think that’s what we want to come back to.”

Defenseman Bode Wylde, who was exiled to Sweden last year after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, will not attend training camp, according to the team. The Islanders are considering Wilde’s duties this season.

The Islanders would lose a 2023 third-round pick to the Coyotes, who conditionally traded them in a deal for Andrew Rudd. Rudd is reportedly in poor health and plans to join the IR.

LW Otto Koivla, D Isaiah George and LW Colin Adams were injured Thursday and did not skate. Lambert said it will be evaluated on Friday.

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