Jack Capuano

Snow’s loyalty to Capuano could be tested


Did the New York Islanders’ 3-2 overtime loss to Washington on Saturday mark progress?

Probably depends how you look at it.

On the one hand, the Isles got a point for their effort, and that’s better than they’d managed in their previous five games, all regulation defeats.

On the other hand, the Isles allowed Washington to tie the game, shorthanded with the net empty, with less than a minute to go. In that way, it felt like New York lost a much-needed point, as opposed to gaining one.

Embattled head coach Jack Capuano decided to see things in a positive light.

“Guys worked hard tonight,” he said. “I thought they were focused and this was a step in the right direction… It’s just very frustrating that it had to end this way.”

Capuano, as those who’ve attended recent Isles’ home games can attest, has become a major focus for the fans’ frustrations:

However, general manager Garth Snow is reportedly not ready to make a coaching change, instead choosing to stay loyal to the man who guided New York to the playoffs last season.

That loyalty could be in for a serious test in the next week and a bit. Tonight, the Isles host a Pittsburgh side that’s won six of its last eight games. After that, they head out on practically the toughest five-game road trip one could draw up, with visits to St. Louis, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and Phoenix.

In November of 2010, it took a 10-game winless streak for Snow to fire Scott Gordon and install Capuano.

Given the schedule, a 10-game winless streak isn’t out of the question for the current version of the Isles.

Related: Tavares has ‘all the faith in the world’ in coach Capuano

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

Justin Abdelkader
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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: