The New York Islanders will have one possible story line out of the way this summer.
Isles GM Garth Snow said coach Jack Capuano will return for his fifth season behind the bench. As Arthur Staple of Newsday shares, Islanders players support the return of Capuano and his assistants.
“You saw Cappy’s system work extremely well at the end of the year,” Kyle Okposo said. “We were outworking and outplaying teams that were ahead of us in the standings. We played within the framework of the team really well. For whatever reason, we got away from that early in the year and it cost us.”
Injuries were a major buzzkill for the Islanders this season. Captain John Tavares and fellow star forwards Okposo and Michael Grabner suffered season-ending ailments as did defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky, Brian Strait, and Calvin de Haan.
Capuano should get a full regalia or players back next season, setting the bar for him to try and re-capture the magic they had last season when they made the playoffs. As long as Snow is bringing back his coach, now maybe he can give him some help by finding a way to improve the goaltending position.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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