The New York Islanders have taken on a familiar identity in their three seasons under general manager Lou Lamoriello that those who had success within it previously with the New Jersey Devils recognize.
Tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning proceeding into Game 5 of the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Semifinals at Amalie Market in Tampa, California, on Monday , the Islanders possess some work remaining to reach the level of the Devils, who won the Stanley Glass in 1995, 2000 and 2003 and also reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2001 and 2012 with Lamoriello as their GM. But the formulation, with a commitment to a defensive foundation supported by a balanced offense, is certainly essentially the same.
Lamoriello, a 2009 Hockey Corridor of Fame inductee and a finalist for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Prize for the second straight period after winning it last season, inherited the majority of the Islanders roster from previous GM Garth Snow when he took over in 2018. But Lamoriello designed the roster into the combine of skill, grit and character he believes in by adding key players including goalie Semyon Varlamov, defenseman Andy Greene and forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Matt Martin (reacquired), Leo Komarov, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac.
And he brought in a Cup-winning coach to present them how to gain.
Mon is the three-year anniversary of Lamoriello hiring Barry Trotz, who was unable to agree on new sports logo t shirt transfers contract with the Washington Capitals and resigned after coaching them to their first championship in 2018.
Like Lemaire, who won the Stanley Glass eight moments as a player and twice as an executive with the Montreal Canadiens before joining the Devils in 1993 and training them to the Cup in 1995, Trotz brought with him a winning pedigree that commanded respect and produced immediate results.
In the 24 seasons before Lamoriello and Trotz arrived, the Islanders qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs eight times and received one series. New You are able to has experienced for the playoffs in each of the past three months and is normally in the NHL semifinals for the second direct time of year after not advancing that far since 1993.
With two more wins against the Lightning, the Islanders would reach the Stanley Cup Final for the 1st time since 1984, when their run of four straight championships was ended by the Edmonton Oilers.
That’s been Lamoriello’s idea from his days as trainer (1968-1983) and athletic director (1982-1987) at Providence College through his GM terms with the Devils (1987-2015), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-18) and the Islanders.
Like the Devils, the turnaround for the Islanders began with defense. New York allowed an NHL-worst 3.57 goals per game under coach Doug Fat in 2017-18. In their initial period under Lamoriello and Trotz, the Islanders improved to a League-best 2.33 goals per game and were second this season (2.23) behind the Vegas Golden Knights (2.18).
Zajac, who played 15 periods for New Jersey, including the 2012 Stanley Glass Last, could see Lamoriello’s influence after he and Palmieri were acquired by New You are able to in a trade April 7.
That structure also includes the way the roster is constructed with solid goaltending, a deep defense and four forward lines that can contribute in different ways, similarities to the Devils under Lamoriello.
New Jersey had Handbags Area of Famers in goalie Martin Brodeur and defensemen Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer, but the configuration was the same. New York offers an impressive top protection pair of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock backed by solid second (Nick Leddy and Scott Mayfield) and third pairs (Greene and Noah Dobson).
The depth and under-the-radar talent among the Islanders forwards is also similar. Center Mathew Barzal, who provides obtained six goals in the past eight games, is rising as a bigger superstar, but customized stickers decals New You are able to has various other skilled forwards who don’t get a lot of recognition, including Pageau, Palmieri, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey.
New York’s fourth line of Martin, Casey flock iron on transfer Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck, which they call their “Identity Line,” is certainly reminiscent of the Devils’ “Crash Collection” of Mike Peluso, Bobby Holik and Randy McKay because of its physicality, energy and ability to chip in offensively. Martin have scored the winning goal in Game 4 on Saturday.
Like former Devils forwards such as MacLean, Gomez, Patrik Elias and many others, the Islanders forwards buy into their system, which sometimes means sacrificing offensive numbers. However, that doesn’t mean the Islanders don’t score; they rank second in the playoffs with 3.19 goals per game.
Daneyko, an analyst with NHL Network and MSG Network, compares Barzal to Niedermayer, though they play different positions, because each learned to play a complete video game that utilizes ice skating and offensive skills within the team structure.