New York Struggling...Capuano Looks Desperate For Answers

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2013 10:03:00 AM | |
Six games, one regulation win against a Phoenix team that self-imploded.

Wait until the schedule get's tough. 

Chemistry with a team working well as a unit is a fun thing to watch as we saw for about three weeks in 2013. That looks completely gone now despite most of the same roster returning. 

Yes, for this franchise it seems Mark Streit was that valuable in terms of moving the puck from defense to offense, quarterbacking the powerplay, and hitting open players with passes in spots they could finish.

Jack Capuano after the Buffalo game seemed very pleased his club just lost another late lead, and without Nabokov making the tougher saves would have lost in regulation to a win-less team on Tuesday, that had played on Monday in front of 18,000 actual people. (triple pathetic true Coliseum turnout?) 

Buffalo was terrible on Tuesday. That's why the Islanders finally got some zone time on offense. I guess Capuano cannot call out the passengers (or employ the word battle level) after every game or he losses the room.

Again expecting Frans Nielsen goals (eight straight shootout misses)  is not his resume, same for Matt Martin, who scored off nice work from Cizikas, Boulton.

Bouchard looked slightly better, his open net crossbar could have turned this into a Phoenix game against a team waiting to get beat.

A powerplay goal from an outside shot deflected off Matt Moulson is not the goal Vanek scored on a perfect setup. (Hamonic lost Vanek)

Bottom line this is not a sustainable formula for winning, expect a lot more games like Chicago/Nashville if this continues against established teams that can play as a unit.

Nashville is not a good team either. 

Many of those games the Islanders will be pinned in their own zone with little sustained time unless something dramatically changes. 

Capuano Deperate? 
He already seems to know a line of Moulson-Tavares-Okposo is too slow.

It was too slow come playoff time with Brad Boyes there, so again Moulson is off that line in October. Grabner could not escape the third line in the forty eight games, now he's a top six player.

Yes it seems Capuano is pushing the panic button because he knows this is not working.

Donovan has looked no worse (even better) than Brian Strait. No one should ever be sitting for Matt Carkner.

Brock Nelson needs games, and a chance to show his 1st round draft pick offensive skills this roster desperately needs, not a seat in the stands. Nelson should never be sitting for Peter Regin, Cal Clutterbuck, Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton or Casey Cizikas. 

A Defense That Cannot Score: 
Diehard hockey fans, who have played will understand this point, others will not.

To quote Al Arbour on Mike Bossy: " I can teach anyone to play defense, I cannot teach scoring."

There are offensive defenders who know how to get a shot through traffic in a way where it will go in the net, leave a big rebound, or be redirected.

Then there are defenders who just want to get their shot off  hitting the logo of the opposing goalie.

There are defenders who produce points vs those who do not.

Mark Streit had that ability which produced a lot of points.

Garth Snow saw this when he replaced  Drew Fata, and Allan Rourke's shot with Marc-Andre Bergeron, which produced 21 points/23 games in late 2006-07 with six important goals.

Yes, we all know Bergeron needed a map to play defense here, and everywhere he went afterward, but teams took a chance because he can produce points. 


Moving forward Hamonic, MacDonald could produce points. At this level so far they don't have the time, space in a much faster game for their developing skills. Hickey, Strait have not demonstrated this ability.

Visnovsky has this ability, but a lot of mileage, and seems more of a perimeter player at this stage of his career.

The fact Radek Martinek is skating suggests management feels that defender is not Aaron Ness, Calvin deHaan or anyone else in Bridgeport at this time. Perhaps management was a bit gun shy about Reinhart, but a lot of young players his age can play in this league.

The Devils kept Adam Larsson.

Reinhart's preseason goal in Calgary off a rush was the best goal scored by a defender on this roster all season.

Is that going to be his Calvin deHaan most memorable moment years from now? 

For our fans using the Niederreiter example that's misguided judgement. Nino was a almost a full year young than Tavares when he began here, and got hurt from the last week of preseason into December, so the club never got a chance to see him with healthy/productive forwards around him which were clearly never Jay Pandolfo, or Marty Reasoner.

Nino was second on that team in hitting for a part of that season. 

Did sending back Calvin deHaan to juniors ever help him between injuries?

Snow has himself locked in with Brian Streit, Thomas Hickey, they have demonstrated the ability to play strong defense at this level.

Answers?
There are no easy answers. This team is trying, and still being pinned in or pushed back in most games.

If it continues to look like the team even worse than the sub-five hundred team in late March 2013, it's going to become a long year quickly. 

They may get past Edmonton/Carolina's many weaknesses, or implode to their offensive skills. If the goaltender has to be the Islanders best player that's not a formula for anything to build a winning team on.

Nielsen's giving them production that likely cannot be counted on. Bailey at his age should not be expected to produce sustained numbers as he keeps moving around on the Blake Comeau plan.

Collectively they miss Mark Streit's ability to move the puck in all three zones, and the powerplay. The club looks collectively slow in reading/reacting to plays. Yes for a good forty minutes of games Mark Streit was not on the ice in 2013 all of the same defenders who skated on this team are back. (less Martinek/Finley)

Hamonic had a nice rush against Buffalo in the second period, took the puck right up the middle, and shot at Miller, was that Hamonic or Buffalo's poor team play? 

Someone has to develop into Streit's role, or the Islanders must become a six man defensive unit that does not score much anymore, and produce by committee which seems to be a trend in the league.

That was why Roman Hamrlik, Adrian Aucoin kept getting signed by someone.

More younger players have to give the club sustained scoring, and an offensive push that pins in the opposing team.

So far we have seen the opposite.

This may play out ok for two more games with Edmonton, Carolina. By 10/22 against Vancouver, there is no more hiding.

Either they become the team that was 11-1-2 from around March 23, 2013 to end of schedule, or they are a lesser version of the sub five hundred team for most of those forty eight games. 

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