1/14: NY Times makes clear leadership on Islanders fully support head coach Jack Capuano, who was named as a team USA assistant coach for the World Cup of hockey next year.
Let's be clear my view does not matter.
I'm not in the lockeroom which is the first thing I remind anyone who speaks like they know what the players want........fans have no idea, neither does the media most of the time.
I give my views based on how the team plays, and the few comments the
worst media in North America provide. Dave Caldwell is a joke who
could barely cover this team when he was fully working at the Times
before he bounced to the WSJ, and now back at the Times occasionally, his rhetoric is
not relevant nor that of his occasional media counterparts/editors with cost cutting agenda's.
Having written this the players quoted comments are paramont, and what a general manager puts a lot of weight behind when deciding to make a change or retain the coach. Mike Milbury made very clear the players exit interviews was why Peter Laviolette was not retained after 2003 under contract, despite Wang regretting that decision years later on WFAN.
Wang-Snow have not been shy about paying coaches here to go home under contract.
Also let's make clear despite calling for his dismissal since last May, I like Jack Capuano. Outside of a Kirk Muller/Petrov (you sign a contract you live up to it) situation never dislike any Islander player beyond how they play.
For me it's always strictly about how the team has played, and if they are taking steps forward to win a Stanley Cup which is why a team is in business.
At the end of 2013-14, I absolutely wanted Capuano retained because how well this team played on the road finishing 17-5-2 with a team loaded with injuries/prospects/potential. At the end of 2014-15 I called for a change because the Islanders had Washington on the ropes after game one, and could not beat a backup leading 3-1 in game two like they were waiting to lose which is not where a team should be after 82 games/101 points of learning.
New York should have won that series in four/five games, the Caps looked as tentative as Islanders in game seven beyond Halak, despite injuries that should not be the lessons learned of 82 games, and a regression of what we saw in 2013 against Pittsburgh with far less talent on roster.
This year since day one I see far too many players regressing who should be improving, including Tavares. Endless line changes with combinations not built to last, and now calling up prospects to not play the position they were developed at in Bridgeport. Even worse this team rarely outworks anyone, and only seems to win when the other goalie has a poor game or the other team is exhausted.
If it's one player that's ok, when it's most of the roster, and a healthy team is giving up over 35 shots most games, and the star player is struggling with a weak powerplay what can I write when the coach is getting very repetitive?
Bottom line the players (even UFA) spoke up and defended this coach as we have seen for years.
The coach could be the one thing keeping them here, it obviously was not an issue for the two players who signed seven year extensions who know what it takes to win a Stanley Cup or the many players who have enthusiastically resigned with this organization or even when leaving have great words for this management.
Makes no difference what I think or see during games if that's how the players feel, as a fan I have to defer to that.
What I see during games this season so far has not worked. Will keep hoping something clicks, and Capuano's message takes this team to a playoff spot/cup run we all want.