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Snow’s loyalty to Capuano could be tested

Dec 3, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

Jack Capuano AP

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.

Related: Tavares has ‘all the faith in the world’ in coach Capuano

  1. c9castine - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    honestly if they lose to the pens tonight the move should be made. its getting ridiculous. its not all his fault but you know. pittsburgh has been pouring in the goals lately and the isles are pros at letting them in right now

  2. tjvalley - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I can’t see how going into this season with a bad defense and then losing our best defenseman for a major stretch as well as having major question marks in goaltending could be the coaches fault. We had more pieces to the team last year. This year we are lacking seriously in these departments. I like captain Jack and I do t blame him for having an AHL defense to work with.

    • neeza06 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      The only player missing from last years roster is Streit and while he would help the PP and is solid on the breakout he would in no way fix defensive woes of this year. As for goalie situation thats one of the few things I agree with isles fans about snow letting slip only because A lot of quality netminders moved from midway last season through this season. He rolled the dice hoping confidence and and a good SYSTEM would hold the leaks together enough for the big free agents next year and so far he is loosing. It does make me feel better reading recently that he tried to pull the trigger on schnieder in a package including niederreiter but vancouver balked so at least he wasnt completely sitting on his ass as far as goalies go.

      System is 100 percent cappies fault. Gm puts this team togethor but cappy continually makes head scratching lineups/line combos(which is 100 percent his call) and scratches players at random and doesnt let young players even make one mistake and learn from. Not only doesnt the talent look bad but even worse we look sloppy an undisciplined and thats all the coach. I am actually loosing my patience with snow more now cause he wont fire capuano. He 100 percent needs to go he is not the right man right now.

      • neeza06 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        not only does the talent look bad*

  3. jernster21 - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    It’s not Capuano’s fault Snow traded a regular point producer for someone who can’t stay healthy on top of not acknowledging their goaltending problem going into the season. Don’t have to be a genius to know that Nabakov wasn’t going to be the answer this season when he was pretty much the main reason they didn’t get past the Pens in the playoffs last year.

    • jpelle82 - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      firing capuano would be a way of shifting the blame away from snow’s own inadequacies so it wouldnt surprise me if it did happen. still that decision would be a head scratcher for me along with everything else snow’s done since may.

    • neeza06 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      maybe, but it is capuanos fault that we make the same mental mistakes every single game and are out of position all the time and let up a scary number of 3 on 2’s. Other coaches are making simple easy adjustments and exploiting our obvious weakness while cappy just continues to try the same thing that hasnt worked over this entire loosing streak. maybe try a new approach to your system instead of just shuffling lineups and lines every night cappy or is that too tough a coaching move. And then every night he comes out and says the effort was their and its not this system but we lost too many battles and gave them too many chances. I feel like im stuck in the twilight zone. If snow gets fired it should be for staying to loyal to capuano in the midst of this debacle

  4. tjvalley - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I like Vanek and nobody was going to give us much for moulson cause he can’t be trusted to keep up with the playoff pace. What this team needs is a healthy visnovsky and another hulking minute munching defenseman and a solid goalie.

    • neeza06 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      I agree for the most part. Moulsen is a very nice complimentary player and goes to the garbage spots but is very limited outside of finishing and banging. He doest create his own offense and he doesnt skate. He especially looked out matched in that pens series when everything tightens up a bit and the game gets a little faster/rougher. definitely need a Dman and goalie no one is denying that but from what im hearing about miller we should be reluctant to give up much for him because it seems we are not on his original trade list. he really wants to go to the west coast where his wife is but good luck finding a west coast team who needs a goalie passed st louis and in the US (obviously edmonton and calgary need one but i dont count as west coast like say vancouver). I wouldnt give up much for a player who solves just this year and we could end up with nothing if we dont sign a goalie for next year( outside of “king henry” he is the only worth spending money on anyway). Philly is looking to give up a d man for a young forward. Grabner perhaps? I know isles fans would scream and cry even more cause they seem to think grabner is still the next gretzky but hes proven for good this year what I always have said. He is one hell of a third liner but belongs nowhere near the top 6 and we can swing a Dman or legit goalie for him we have plenty of young forwards who could fill a bottom 6 role if need be.

      • islanders1 - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        You are kidding right 30 goal scorer a complementary player. He scored for the Islanders on any line he played. He is scoring for Buffalo now. Snow made a big mistake that has cost the Islander’s. Before the trade all the talk was about the team need to play harder etc etc. They were playing 500 hockey not great. Snow says were a better team with the trade well Garth….. Where is Garth now in hiding just does not know how to build a team. Trades the one thing he did right. Thomas is a good player and gets more money than JT that does not create issues…… I am sure JT will be happy with that going forward if they manage to sign Vanek. Always good idea to get rid of a 30 goal score draft picks and bring in someone making more money than your star player whom you recently signed to a contract for multi years. Do you think JT would sign that contract if he new what Garth had up his sleeve not a chance. What does this say to other players / agents about the Islander’s. I do not think Garth will be able to get past this one…. What agent would want his player to sign with the Islanders after this the answer only player without other options. I bet JT and his agent are ……….

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