Mathew Barzal said having a new coach in Lane Lambert could be just what the New York Islanders need.

Lambert was hired as coach May 16, a week after Barry Trotz was fired following his fourth season with New York.

"Barry was great. Not a bad word to say," Barzal said Thursday. "But I think with coaching changes, sometimes you just need a new voice, sometimes you just need a fresh face."

Barzal, speaking at the NHL North American Player Media Tour at Lifeguard Arena, said the fact that Lambert has been an Islanders assistant the past four seasons is a big help in the transition.

"I think we all have good relationships with him because he was our [associate] coach the last couple years and he has the respect of the room, and that's a big thing when a new coach comes in," Barzal, a center, said. "So, I think he's going to do a great job. I'm looking forward to it, and yeah, I think it's going to be nice."

The Islanders were 37-35-10 last season, failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after reaching the semifinal round in each of the previous two seasons. Barzal said their struggles were mainly due to man-games lost to COVID-19, not the impact of a 13-game season-opening road stretch before moving into UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. The killer, he said, was an 0-8-3 stretch from Nov. 7-Dec. 5.