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Islanders Gameday News: Roy’s Islanders debut tonight against Dallas

Never in a million years would I have guessed Patrick Roy.

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Dallas Stars v New York Islanders
One would think the Roy hire helps the goalies quite a bit.
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, I’ll be damned. I thought it was too late in the day by the time I posted yesterday’s bits for the New York Islanders to announce some big news. I was wrong. But even if I thought a coaching change was needed or coming, it would have taken me several guesses to land on Patrick Roy.

A top-two or -three goaltender all-time and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Roy steps into his second NHL coaching job replacing Lane Lambert almost eight years after his first one ended. He made an immediate impact on the Colorado Avalanche when his coaching tenure began there, but it fizzled out by the next season. However, it appears he has honed his skills by coaching the junior team he co-owns, the Quebec Remparts. Scott Wheeler, who often criticizes the Islanders’ shallow prospect pool, watches a lot of amateur hockey and had this to say about Roy’s most recent junior stint, where he led his team to the Memorial Cup:

Although it actually was a junior team competing against other junior teams and not NHL teams, I find this encouraging. Perhaps I am leaning a bit too much on this, but I am cautiously optimistic, if for no other reason than I think Roy will get a lot more buy-in than Lambert did.

Now, we get to see what Roy can do, starting tonight against the Dallas Stars, who are coming off a dominating win in New Jersey last night. If he can get them not to Play Like Assholes™ (Dan’s collecting that sweet, sweet licensing fee money) against a team on the second half of a back-to-back, he’s already a marked improvement.

Here we go. UPDATE: FIG Picks go here. My apologies, forgot in all the excitement.

Islanders News

  • Team site rundown of Lambert’s firing and Patty Roy’s hiring, as well as his coaching and playing resume. [Islanders]
  • Here’s Dom’s original story on the firing and hiring. We were all surprised about the hiring part. [LHH]
  • We’ve got the quotes from Roy and Lou Lamoriello’s media conference call. [LHH]
  • He certainly won over the media at his first press conference. [NY Post]
  • Dan and Mike try to unpack ROY’t the hell just happened in a special emergency episode. Haven’t listened yet, but I am eager to hear what they have to say when I have the chance today. [LHH]
  • NHL Network reacts, and the NHL site runs it all down too. [NHL]
  • Roy thought the phone would ring faster from NHL teams, but he admits his departure from Colorado probably had a lot to do with that. He’s excited for this opportunity, though. [Islanders]
  • He left Colorado because he wanted more of a say in personnel decisions, which probably made other GMs leery about hiring him. But no one holds a tighter grip on hockey operations than Lou Lamorielllo, and Roy said he has “zero interest” in doing anything besides coaching here. [Newsday]
  • He wants to bring consistency back to the Islanders. What a coincidence: We all want the Islanders to be consistent. [Islanders]
  • We wanted a shake-up; boy did we ever get one. [The Athletic]
  • Though it is fair to wonder whether he can adapt to the new NHL, which is a bit different than even the last time he coached and way different than when he played. [The Athletic]
  • A preview of tonight’s game, Roy’s first behind the Isles bench. Morning skate notes: Semyon Varlamov is skating with the team, as are Ken Appleby and Pierre Engvall in a presumably non-contact jersey. [Twitter] He’s probably rolling with the same lineup as last game. [Twitter]
  • Seven facts about the new guy. [Islanders] Sometimes intangibles can be overrated, but one important one to me is having been there before, which is one underrated reason I liked the Robert Bortuzzo trade. In Roy, we get a four-time Stanley Cup champion and the only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe—a guy who gets up for big moments. He won the Memorial Cup as coach of his junior team. He’s a Winner; the Islanders have been playing with a loser mindset and needed a Winner. [THN]
  • He also brings a ton of passion to a team that seemed to lack a lot of this season. [Newsday]
  • And a bit of humor, it seems.

Elsewhere

Yesterday’s NHL scores actually featured a lot of great results for the Islanders—the Patrick Roy effect. The Flyers, Penguins, Devils, Capitals, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Rangers all lost in regulation. The only bad one was that the Lightning beat the Sabres.

  • The Penguins entered the third period in Vegas up 2-0 and collapsed to lose 3-2 in regulation. Heh. [Pensburgh]
  • The Leafs’ several flaws were on display in an intense 6-4 loss to the Canucks. Heh. [Sportsnet]
  • Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers won another Battle of Alberta, their 13th straight win. Guess who the last team to beat them was? [Sportsnet]