With Jack Capuano on the hot seat, Tavares backs the Islanders coach

Getty
7 Comments

These seem like uncomfortable times for the New York Islanders.

Already sitting 15th in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders lost in disappointing fashion 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, as their record dropped to 5-8-3.

This dreadful start to the season has once again raised questions about the future of head coach Jack Capuano, who has coached the Islanders since the 2010-11 season.

His tenure most recently includes back-to-back 100-point seasons and a second-round playoff appearance in the 2016 post-season.

In July, both Capuano and GM Garth Snow received a vote of confidence from the new ownership group. That was in the summer. It’s now mid-November, and while there is plenty of hockey left on the schedule, the Islanders are in danger of falling further behind in the East.

With frustration growing among the fan base, the team’s best player John Tavares spoke in support of the coach following Monday’s effort.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with them or their approach to the team,” Tavares told Newsday. “I have confidence in our group, in our staff. It comes down to the guys stepping on the ice and playing to our identity, playing the way we know we can play.”

The Islanders are 20th in the league in scoring and haven’t gotten much production from their big summer free agent signing Andrew Ladd. The Islanders also lost key forwards in free agency, as Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen took their talents to Buffalo and Detroit, respectively.

The Islanders play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. They’ll have to sit on this latest loss for three days, before playing one of the best teams in the league on home ice.