Isles’ struggles putting heat on Capuano

24 Comments

Type his name into the search function on Twitter and it quickly becomes clear that many New York Islanders fans, as well as some of the media members that cover the team, have serious issues with the job that coach Jack Capuano is doing.

Five regulation losses in seven tend to bring out the knives.

The Isles got off to a promising start, winning their first four. But they’ve been outscored 27-17 in their last seven, winning just two of them. Defensively, they rank 29th in the NHL, with only Arizona giving up more goals per game. Defense was the Isles’ big problem last season, when they ranked 28th.

Capuano has been behind the Isles’ bench since November of 2010, and he was retained as head coach for 2014-15 despite the fact the team finished well out of the playoffs last season. But after GM Garth Snow made a number of significant additions to the roster, one does have to wonder how patient management and ownership will stay if the team doesn’t right the ship in short order.

The Isles are 0-2-0 on their current five-game road trip. They lost 5-0 to the Avs on Thursday, and it was a 3-1 defeat Saturday in San Jose. Tough games in Anaheim (Wednesday) and Los Angeles (Thursday) are coming up, before the trip ends in Arizona.

“We had plenty of scoring chances,” Capuano said after the San Jose game. “I think we were over 10 again. We have to find a way to score. When you’re not scoring, players are trying to make things happen and you can’t fault them for that. The frustrating part is how well we’re playing and not scoring.”

For what it’s worth, Isles beat writer Arthur Staple (Newsday) hasn’t “heard a word from anyone about job security.”

Also remember that Snow’s loyalty to Capuano was already tested last season, with the coach reportedly not being seen as the problem.

Except, there aren’t any major injuries to blame now. And thanks to Snow’s offseason additions, this is a better team on paper.

“We’re facing some adversity, and you know it’s coming every year,” d-man Travis Hamonic said. “We’re going to get out of this. We’re confident.”

As always, actions will speak louder than words.

Related: Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively