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Will the Islanders fire Capuano this week?

Nov 22, 2011, 2:37 PM EDT

Interesting stuff from Chris Botta of the New York Times on a potential Islanders coaching change:



This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Capuano’s at the helm of a team that’s 2-9-3 in its last 14, lost its last two by a combined score of 11-0 and hasn’t scored in seven-plus periods. Capuano also made the bizarre decision to start rookie netminder Anders Nilsson against Pittsburgh last night — the 21-year-old (who had just 40 minutes of NHL experience coming in) looked completely overwhelmed.

“To throw Nilsson to the wolves in his first NHL start was borderline manic,” wrote ESPN’s Scott Burnside. “Hello, Charles Wang, your team has left the building.”

In Capuano’s defense, he might’ve simply ran out of ways to send a message. He’s gone the healthy scratch route (with Kyle Okposo), gone the bag skate route, gone the “rip my team mercilessly to the media” route and even gone the midnight-meeting-after-a-blowout-loss-to-Boston route.

None of them worked, so why not start Nilsson?

Answer: Because when you’re dangerously close to getting fired, you don’t want to suffer a blowout loss.

This harkens back to last season when, after a 4-10-3 start to the season, Snow fired Scott Gordon and replaced him with Capuano. The tipping point was an equally disturbing defeat — a 5-1 drubbing in Los Angeles where the Isles were out-shot 34-19 — which then-Isles captain Doug Weight called “pathetic.” The next day, Gordon was gonzo.

Now consider what forward Frans Nielsen told Newsday following Monday’s loss:

“We just don’t compete hard enough — that’s a basic thing. We talk system, blah blah blah, gotta do this, do that, but it comes down to outworking the other team. If you do that, good things will happen. We’re losing so many one-on-one battles out there.”

  1. bcisleman - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Actually I liked the decision to go with Nilsson. RDP would have been an unwelcome distraction after the 2/2/11 incident and Anders wasn’t the problem last night. It was the team playing in front of him.

    The only thing that is obvious from Botta’s commentary is his dislike of Garth Snow. A coaching change may be indicated because the team is not performing at anywhere near its potential.

  2. sknut - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    When is it Snow’s turn to get the boot for hiring inadequate coaches, I know they have some talent but you have to stop the revolving door of coaches.

    • govtminion - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      You beat me to posting it. At some point, when you fire coaches repeatedly, make poor drafts and poor trades, sign questionable players to ridiculous contracts… at some point the GM has to get a serious look regarding his job. Either Wang is fine with continuing to lose year after year with Snow, or Snow has pictures of him he’s using for ransom. I have to believe Wang will do the right thing and drop Snow at some point before the draft, if not during the season.

  3. gaborik104life - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    First off yes I am a Ranger fan but more importantly the Islanders have to be the worst overall organization from roster to owner. They have been going through a rebuild for a long time. Eventually that rebuild should pay off but for them they continue to make terrible decisions and it falls on the GM who should have been fired after his first year to the owner. They are an embarrassment to the league. The Dp signing was far worse than any Ranger contract for those that choose that argument and he has become the laughing stock. He’s laughing well going into a fight and he gets ko’d. They sign James Wizz and trade him immediately. With him and Streit at the blueline the PP unit would be very formidable. The team is a joke and yes they get there wins here and there but come on they need to hire about 10,000 maids and clean house from top to bottom. It’s embarrassing to be located near them.

  4. killerpgh - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I don’t think they signed Wizz. I think they trade and could not get a deal done so they traded him before losing him for nothing through free agency.

  5. blastfurnaceknows - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Well, well, the Isle is a bottom-dweller again and there’s talk about firing the coach and/or the GM. What a surprise! Just a few months ago some delusional New Yorker posted on here that the annual suckfest that has been the Islanders was due to some sort of NHL conspiracy and that the team was on the verge on contending for the Cup in the near future. Anyone still think that? (If so, seek help – you need it.).

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