Islanders head coach Lane Lambert speaks to the media after...

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert speaks to the media after the team's 3-0 win against the Blackhawks in an NHL game at UBS Arena on Dec. 4, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Don’t think about hockey.

Lane Lambert is not likely to be able to completely do that during the Islanders’ eight-day All-Star break/bye week, but he does want his players to take a mental rest as well as a physical one.

After Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime win over Vegas at UBS Arena, the Islanders do not play again until Feb. 6, when they will face the Flyers in Philadelphia. Goalie Ilya Sorokin and center Brock Nelson are the team’s All-Stars.

“We’ve played a lot of hockey, as has every team in the league, really,” Lambert said. “But we’ve had some travel through January. It’s been a tough stretch for us. It’s good to get away from the game to refresh, regenerate, spend some time with your family. Get in a frame of mind where you get re-energized coming back. And that’s just really all it is.”

The Islanders were 4-8-3 in January, with seven of those games on the road.

Lambert said he’s not likely to take the same mental rest as his players. “Yeah, it’s pretty hard to turn it off,” he said. “You do your best you possibly can to do that, and I will. But overall, there’s always something going on.”

'Complete professional’

Semyon Varlamov made only his fourth start in the last 20 games in his 16th appearance this season. It’s much less game time than usual for the former No. 1 goalie.

“He’s a complete professional,” Lambert said. “Whether he’s playing many games or whether he’s playing an average number of games, he does the same thing. It’s a luxury we really do have.”

Isles files

The Islanders wore their Fisherman Reverse Retro jerseys for the sixth and final time . . . D Noah Dobson (lower body) missed his fourth game. D Parker Wotherspoon and LW Ross Johnston remained healthy scratches.

More Islanders


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months