Barzal, islanders step up with Lambert as coach

Henderson, Nevada. – Matthew Barzal He said that having a new coach at Lane Lambert could be exactly what New Yorkers need.

Lambert was hired as coach on May 16, a week after Barry Trotz was sacked after his fourth season with New York.

“Barry was fantastic. Not a bad word,” Barzal said on Thursday. “But I think with training changes, sometimes you just need a new voice, sometimes you just need a new face.”

Barzal, speaking on the NHL North American Player Media Tour at the Lifeguard Arena, said the fact that Lambert has been an assistant to the islanders for the past four seasons is a huge help with the transition.

“I think we all have good relations with him because he was with us [associate] The coach has been for the past two years and has the room’s respect, and that’s an important thing when a new coach comes in,” said Barzal, one of the mediators. So, I think he would do a great job. I’m looking forward to it, and yes, I think it would be nice.”

The Islanders were 37-35-10 last season, and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs after reaching the semi-finals in each of the previous two seasons. Barzal said their struggles are mainly due to losing men’s games to COVID-19, not the effect of stretching the 13-game season opening route before moving to the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. He said the killer was at 0-8-3 from November 7 to December. 5.

straight ahead Josh Bailey The test result was positive on November 16, and six other players – strikers Anders LeeAnd the Casey Sisikas And the Ross Johnstonand defensemen Adam BellickAnd the Zdeno Chara And the Andy Green She was on the NHL COVID-19 protocol by November 27.

“[The road stretch] “It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. COVID has been brutal for us. In the NHL, you can’t have eight starters and expect to be a competitive team, you know what I mean? So, it’s been tough for 11 games,” Barzal said. I was in every one of them. It was brutal. We were ruling out every other game. It was tough.”

Barzal finished equalizing the center Brooke Nelson Islanders lead in points last season with 59 points including 15 goals, which is fourth on the team and their NHL career is low.

The 25-year-old said he does not feel outside pressure to do better this season, but rather puts it on him to raise his level, and thus his team.

“I feel like I always put pressure on myself regardless,” Barzal said. “I feel like in order for us to be good, I have to be among the best players in the league. I feel like I haven’t done it enough in the last year. I felt like there was something for sure, things that didn’t go well and you didn’t feel good about it.”

“At the end of the day, it’s a team match, and I know that when I play well, I know we have a better chance.”

Barzal could become a restricted free agent at the end of this season. He did not say if contract negotiations had begun, but made clear that he wanted to stay with New York.

“I love Long Island, so it’s a place I’d like to stay,” Barzal said. “I’d love to be there. It’s obviously a business, but at the end of the day, I love Long Island. So if we can make it fair and both parties are happy, I’ll sign it tomorrow.”

But now, he said, the focus is on getting the islanders back into the post-season.

“I think for us it’s just about participating in the qualifiers,” Barzal said. “That will be key for us because we feel we have a squad in the playoffs. We have a good structure. We have professional players, you know, it’s just about getting into the playoffs.”