An infuriated Casey Cizikas had a message for the Islanders fans who chanted for coach Lane Lambert’s firing: Stay home.
The Islanders lost their fourth straight game Saturday night, falling to the Capitals, 4-1, at UBS Arena.
A succession of progressively louder “Fire Lambert” chants were heard in the third period, and the players on the bench certainly were aware of the crowd’s displeasure.
“It’s a joke,” Cizikas said. “It’s a joke. That kind of stuff ticks me off. It really does. I’ve got no time for those fans. I’ve got no time for them.
“If they want to be like that, they can stay home.”
The Islanders did not play like a team that has tuned out the coach’s voice, but the losing has prompted calls for a change in management. President/general manager Lou Lamoriello was the subject of “Lou Must Go” chants during the previous home game.
“They’re a well-prepared group in there,” Bo Horvat said of Lambert and his coaching staff. “I truly believe that we have a really good group of hockey players in here and a really good hockey team.”
Top-six left wing Pierre Engvall’s stint as a surprise healthy scratch lasted only one game as he was back on Brock Nelson’s line with Kyle Palmieri, logging 16:45 with three shots.
Engvall, 13 games into a seven-year, $24 million deal, didn’t want to disclose too many details as to why Lambert sat him for Thursday night’s 5-2 loss in Boston. He did indicate that it stemmed from his costly turnover that led to the visiting Wild’s final goal in Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss. Engvall was benched for a shift after that gaffe.
“I don’t want to get into it, but I think it’s about hockey,” Engvall said. “It’s between me and Lane.”
Nelson called making Engvall a healthy scratch the last game “a clear message.”
Bo’s Vancouver return
Former Canucks captain Bo Horvat, acquired by the Islanders on Jan. 30, will make his first return to Vancouver on Wednesday during the upcoming four-game road trip.
Horvat, who had said he wanted to be a “Canuck for life,” expressed frustration after failed negotiations on a contract extension, so he’s not sure how Canucks fans will react.
“I think some of them were pretty upset with what I said last year,” Horvat said. “The fans took it more personal than I wanted them to take it. It wasn’t directed at them. I was more upset with how everything went down last year.”