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.