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Islanders end-of-season review: Lou Lamoriello reiterates his confidence in Patrick Roy

Islanders end-of-season review: Lou Lamoriello reiterates his confidence in Patrick Roy

When Patrick Roy was hired on January 20, Lou Lamoriello offered his new coach a three-year contract. Even if his future seemed assured, the Islanders general manager wanted to quickly remove any doubt.

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“The two gentlemen you see in front of you will be back next year,” Lamoriello told an audience of reporters in New York.

Getty Images via AFP

It was an evaluation day for the Islanders, who were eliminated in six games against the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite the surprising ending, there is still an air of contentment during this latest media bath.

“There were a lot of positives, but the transition was not easy. 'I take the blame for that,' said the revered hockey man. 'It put Patrick in a very awkward position. Because of his late arrival, he didn't have much time to do things the right way.'

“This creates a lot of uncertainty among players, who did not have the option to learn on the job,” Lamoriello continued. But the way we finished the season and what we were able to do to get to the playoffs, it was unbelievable. I think this is the starting point for next season.

Exceeds expectations

When Roy took over, the Islanders were three points out of the playoff spot. The fight with the Capitals, Flyers, Penguins and Devils was fierce. The Islanders finished the season with a 10-1-2 record entering the 80th game of the season.

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“I don't think he could have done better than he did,” Lamoriello praised. “He exceeded the expectations that were placed on him, even though my expectations were high.”

Coming from a GM with 37 years in the NHL, that's great recognition.

Moreover, as an experienced hockey guy, Lamoriello, who will celebrate his 82nd birthday in October, sees “the big picture,” as the English say. For his part, Roy sees the situation as unfinished business. At least for now.

“I think we played well [contre les Hurricanes]. “When the opposing team's coach comes to see you and tells you that games could have gone one way or another…I think the same thing,” the former Canadian goaltender said.

Busy summer

Aside from the empty-net goals, all but the last match ended by one goal. Which makes Roy say that his team has what it takes to claim a ranking among the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division.

“We played a Stanley Cup contending team and held it down. All the games were close. I really believe in this group. There is great leadership, players who are hungry for improvement and enjoy playing for this franchise,” he said.

The intentions are good, but next summer could determine what happens next for New York. Some of the veterans on the team are reaching a crossroads. Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, among others. While others may earn a lot for their contribution.

A hot summer awaits Lamoriello.

Patrick Roy: “I learned a lot”

Patrick Roy lifted four Stanley Cups as a goaltender. He won the Jack Adams Award in his first season behind the bench for Colorado's NHL team. At the helm Remparts won the Memorial Cup on two occasions.

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He knows success. However, he stresses that at 58 years old, he is still learning.

“This was the first time I had been in my position midway through the season,” he reminded his New York teammates as part of the Islanders' end-of-season review. It was not known to me. I got support from Lou [Lamoriello] The players accepted the challenge I presented to them.

Islanders end-of-season review: Lou Lamoriello reiterates his confidence in Patrick Roy

Getty Images via AFP

“I learned a lot and I am very grateful to them,” he added. I'm sure this will make my assistant coaches and I better prepared.

The coach from Quebec claims that he faced problems in training. He's found it difficult to try to make changes at a time of year when practices are mostly just morning workouts.

Toughness of mind

However, Roy's message got through. Especially from a mental standpoint. The former Canadian goalkeeper was keen to strengthen the gray matter in his team by emphasizing that you must believe in your abilities and remain positive. Even when we are short on a few goals.

The successes at the end of the season and the resilience shown in the series against the Hurricanes showed that Roy's troops have made progress in this area.

“He really helped us find our identity,” Jean-Gabriel Pageau said back to his colleagues from the Big Apple. He led us to believe that we had a good team, that we could believe in ourselves and that we deserved to be there [en séries éliminatoires] If we make the effort.”

“All of this prompted us to try the push that allowed us to qualify for the playoffs,” the Gatineau resident continued.

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With Roy in charge from the start of the campaign, the Islanders may start the season at the same time as everyone else.