Regardless of Outcome, Jack Capuano Must Go as the Isles are one of the NHL’s Worst Teams

MONTREAL, QC– By the time you read this brief article, the Islanders may very well have lost yet another game. (And if they win, big whoop)

Garth Snow says no harsh or rash moves on the agenda. No word from Charles Wang. (Why would he, right?) No overt reactions from any New York Islander to the press a la Claude Giroux, like a Mark Streit calling an emergency meeting, calling out guys, etc. Hell, no timeout to awaken a dead Islanders time who at this point in the evening are losing 3-2 to the Habs. Matt Moulson scores another goal, on the power play. Again, big whoop.

Fire Jack Capuano. Save some face. Hire Lindy Ruff. Turn this team around. In time for Sabres-Isles this Saturday. Be great for Ruff, too.

There’s nothing left to say or write about.

Would should any of us do here, at this point? Point out a weak defense: Travis Hamonic is terrible. Andrew MacDonald terrible. Keith Aucoin, quiet. John Tavares is buckling under the weight of carrying the team. Marty Reasoner terrible. Lubormir Visnovsky mediocre at best, for now. Matt Moulson good when he’s not being mauled or snuffed by opposing players. And on on on.

So, I open up the forum. Enough. Talk to us, Isles fans. Hell, Isles players, if you’re reading.

I ask you my Islander brethren, what should the Islanders do to salvage some semblance of respect? I mean, will ever come down to trading away Moulson, Kyle Okposo, and maybe even Brad Boyes to bring some veterans to help JT?

What do you propose? Let’s talk, everyone. Let’s vent. Why bother with stats, and how many faceoffs won versus lost, etc.?

Euphemisms notwithstanding, the New York Islanders are the worst team in hockey at present. Forget the special teams. We are terrible and Snow/Wang best do something before Tavares gets hurt trying to do too much. (By the way, if you haven’t noticed JT is being double-teamed and his time on the ice is getting longer and longer. ISLANDERS: they’ve figured out Jack’s wonderful game plan–> Feed it to JT. It’s over.)

The only hope I have is that Jack’s gone by breakfast.

–RD

Follow Rich Diaz @eyesonisles

Topics: Jack Capuano, New York Islanders, NHL

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1203424574 Dionysios Anninos

    Garth Snowjob is more interested in building a winner in Bridgeport than on Long Island. Why Okposo, MacDonald, Aucoin, Reasoner and Hamonic are still collecting a check is beyond me. Bring up Nino, Nelson, Ness, Donovan up here. Dump Capuano and DO NOT hire someone like Weight who has no experience. Larry Robinson has won a Stanley Cup and is rotting behind the bench playing 2nd fiddle in San Jose. Bring him in here. He is a winner.

    • Rich Diaz

      Ruff a better candidate at this point unfortunately, as Robinson is entrenched at SJ. Keep the rants coming, bro! Hell, resurrect Al Arbour from retirement

  • Þorsteinn Halldórsson

    4-3 ok – No ranting needed yet and don´t like resurrecting old managers endlessly like Robinson or Ruff. I´ll give Capuano a little breathing room, but I am concerned with Okposo and think he has to step up as well asa few more 2 and 3 liners.

    • zack7

      I agree with the above comment exactly. In addition, I don’t think it’s easy to manage a team that is growing and I also don’t agree with your assessment of several of the Islander players – notably Harmonic, I think that Capuano should be given this short season to see how the team continues to grow under his management – and I take their sometimes great overall effort – in several games as a positive sign; that there have been some efforts that have been just as opposite may not be as negative as that seems – Growth sometimes follows an irregular pattern – their team wins have been good ones. There have only been 16 -17 games so far, while that might be a third of this short season, it would normally be just a fifth of a year. I think that changing course now, when there are clearly certain goals (no pun) and directions put forth would be a real mistake and I don;’t at all agree with hiring Ruff to manage this team. If he didn’t succeed with the current Buffalo team, I don’t think he;d be the right person here – but I think any change at this point would be a blunder. Give Capuano a bit more leeway and support and assess what he’s done at the end of the season – is my recommendation.

      ringing in Ruff, and especially Ruff would be a good idea at all. The season has had only 16 or 17 games so far – while that may be a third of this shortened season, it would be only a fifth of a normal year.

    • Rich Diaz

      I am no longer concerned with Okposo. He’s got to be traded. It makes sense. He good be good on the Bruins or Canes or even Senators. Who knows. WIth the right coach, he could be a stronger 3rd liner. But he’s better a trade asset than a player on the ice. IMO.

  • REALamerican

    what do you want him to do? start nick lidstrom, scott stevens, potvin and borque on the blue line? it’s the roster he’s given. they’ve gone through multiple coaches and it hasn’t improved the talent level. the talent is what it is. and that’s not a lot.
    neilsen isn’t a 2nd line center. okposo isn’t living up to his potential (or he is, and it just isnt a lot). there isn’t enough secondary scoring or depth on the blue line. and if nabby doesnt stand on his head and the team doesnt play perfectly they dont have much chance to win. but that’s not jack’s fault. it’s wang. wang tells garth what to spend and he spends it. and he doesnt have a lot to spend. so there isn’t a lot of talent. it is what it is. and it wont change until they put more money into the team. hopefully when they move in a few years. ask yourself, outside of streit who was the last FA the team signed who wasn’t on his last legs and actually stayed on the team? i cant even answer that.

    • Rich Diaz

      Yeah, to a degree you’re right. And not to contradict my blathering earlier in this string, Cappy is working with very little. BUT, he’s also made some really terrible mistakes: Leaving Nabby out against Philly for the 7-0 spanking is one of them.

      Who knows…but thanks for reading. Nice to vent, though right?

      • REALamerican

        DiPi was going to be any better? you usually you wouldnt leave your starter in, but 39 cant stop a beach ball at this stage of his career. thank god for poulin finally. at the very least he should be a solid back up and hopefully he & The Ders are the not too distant future.

        • http://twitter.com/MoosiestMoose42 Scotty Bonner

          As a former net minder some nights u just don’t have it for whatever reason and u and everyone involved r better off with u out of the cage. Remember when the Habs left Roy out to dry one night in Mtl? He requested a trade then and there. It is an unwritten rule.
          Look I’m not a huge Cap must go guy especially in a 48 game season. If he is to be let go for a huge instant upgrade (ruff) I can get behind that 100% if he is let go for Weight in a shortened season when he had 3/7 defenseman on the roster signed the week before the season begun and another missing flight after flight outta Sibera. Then I can give Cap leeway. I’m a Cap fan and would love to see him behind the bench for our up coming resurgence, however for the first time in his tenure I’m wondering if he is the right man for the job? Bottom line is this: I’d like to sit down with JT91 and ask, ” this will never leave the room, do u want cap to coach ? If not how do u feel bout A.B. and C. His effort leadership and amazingness have yearne him that type of clout and he needs to b kept happy. And then I hand him the C and say u wear this till ur playin days r done. It’s ur team son.

  • http://twitter.com/MoosiestMoose42 Scotty Bonner

    I didn’t enter season or exit lockout anti Cappy but we have has too many home debacles and if we can get Ruff then we gotta do it he’s a great coach and would do wonders for out organIzation.

  • newyorkislanderfancentral

    This makes no sense at all unless you want the Milbury plan from 2000 everyone loves to complain about for some quick fixes in a far different league where trades are rare now and hardly for franchise players unless you are Brian Burke and want to throw away two first picks for a mediocre player. The coach is not the reason Okposo is not producing or Bailey has not taken the next step or even scored a goal and he’s not the reason this is just a very limited team. Prospects even four five years in take time, this does not happen in a vacuum and like Florida, Phoenix, Los Angeles it can fail. Hire Lindy Ruff who’s won what again after all these years in a division with Montreal-Toronto not front-loading contracts? You want Wang to spend, give him the tax money and new building everyone else in New York/New Jersey got.

    • Rich Diaz

      I disagree: the coach is the reason players play well—to a large degree. You cannot deny that Pat Riley or Phil Jackson or Scotty Bowman or our beloved Al Arbour didnt have a vast role in each of their respective team’s run for the ‘chip’. Take a look at who runs the timeout huddles, who’s apparently yelling and screaming at the players behind closed doors: it’s Doug Weight. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been watching for a while now, and it’s time for a fix, it’s time for some drastic moves, it’s time for change. I agree with you on money, etc. FOR SURE. But Okposo is a burger, plain and simple. Bailey looks more promising than Okposo. Trade him and see how much better we get. Grabs and Ullstrom will find their form and then we’ll be alright. I predict that Visnovsky is the next Stefan Persson. I think we’ll be ok.

      Oh and now that DP is gone, things will surely be better psychologically for the club, imo.

      AL ARBOUR WORDS OF WISDOM:

      “I just told the boys, ‘If there’s anyone who doesn’t think we can win four in a row against Pittsburgh, please get the heck off the ice.”

      No one did, and the Islanders reeled off four victories in a row — including a 1-0 win on the road in Game 7.

      Coaches make the difference. Every great army needs a great general. we don’t have a leader.

      • newyorkislanderfancentral

        Rich, come on? There’s the Al Arbour of the first era and the second, it comes down to talent and the one who does the most yelling usually plays that card right to their own dismissal. We don’t know who does what daily behind closed doors among coaches. Last time I read a power forward had to go he was traded for Trevor Linden so off a 20 goal season during a lockout, I’ll wait thank you for Okposo. Stefan Persson vs Lubomir Visnovsky? They are both human beings who played in the NHL beyond that no comparison as to who will always be better and it’s the man partnered with Denis Potvin. It’s 2013 millionaires don’t respond to the 1975 Al Arbour speech anymore because they don’t have to go find real jobs in off season. Today they demand NTC/NMC and management fires the coach over the player with the front-loaded contract who tell them leave the room if you don’t think we can win. Today the media blames Arbour for being sidelined with back issues for the club falling behind 3-0.

        • Rich Diaz

          heh. They call it venting bro. I like your point, but still think, among other things, that if you can get something for Okposo, then get it. But obviously this season wont see such ‘rash’ trades. And I am aware, of course, that money rules sports etc. But how can you honestly defend Capuano. I mean is the excuse or reason that we have no talent on the ice his reason for staying? IDK, buddy. I’m just ticked off. But Dp leaving is a step in the right direction, if for morale and/or cap issues and/or paving the way for an emergin talent in Poulin

  • bluenotebacker

    Firing Capuano seems like the obvious move here, I agree with you on that one. Not sure I like bringing in Ruff- I share the opinion of Þorsteinn Halldórsson, I’m not big on re-treading coaches, but you can’t just fire Jack without a plan for his replacement. Rolston coming up in Buffalo was almost a no-brainer. Is Snow so enamored of Capuano that he’ll stick with him despite the sagging atmosphere surrounding his team?

    I’ve seen the Blues faltering this season at time because guys aren’t performing. That’s not necessarily Hitchcock’s fault, though he would tell you otherwise. The Isles need to play better around Tavares, but how do you fire players up? How do you motivate guys to start helping out their teammate? You know what? Maybe you scratch JT, let the other fellas figure it out on their own. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

    • Rich Diaz

      Hey Sean. Agreed:If you fire Cappy and bring in Weight the Isles run the risk of falling into a similar situation as the one they’re in now. Weight’s still wet behind the ears, but his special teams work is the reason the isles have some Ws. Thats why Ruff was an idea but never a long term solution.

      As for JT being scratched: WHATCHA U TALKIN ABOUT, WILLIS?!

      What I would like is for JT to be Captain like today, for he’s the only Islander with credibility that can go into a locker room and fire up his squad.

      For me, trading Kyle Okposo would be a good move, and putting DP on waivers (Hallelujah) is the beginning of a good thing. But Capuano makes mistakes and I’m tired people saying that we’re rebuilding, etc. Been hearing that since 1985.

      capuano must go

      as always, thanks for reading, sir!

  • psu3700

    Strongly disagree with the description of Hamonic. He had a terrible giveaway resulting in a Habs goal and has had a few other noticeable giveaways this season (like Streit) but he has probably been our best defensive defenseman for the last 2 years. He is more physical than Streit, can fight, can contribute on the power play, and still young enough that he will probably get even better. There is certainly room for improvement at the Head Coach position. Reasoner is terrible. Okposo is the guy Garth should look to trade before anyone else. He is just an unproductive mess out there. I think Finley is slow and a weak spot on the blue line. Hickey needs to improve also and fast if the Isles are going to make a run, and I hope and believe they will. The defense needs to improve more than the offense in my opinion. Baileys, Ullstroms crossbars will start going in, Grabner will put some of these in damn it, and with DP gone now – it is the defense, including Hamonic, that must step up and play with a work ethic and skill level the NHL demands.

    • Rich Diaz

      Hamonic hasn’t played well, no matter how you cut it. And please don’t forget that I was singing his praises these past few weeks, but you have to admit that he’s been pretty bad with his puck cycling. I WILL NEVER doubt his heart; just his head, sometimes. He’s playing clumsy hockey, let’s put it that way.

      ANd agreed: the Isles’s D is dreadful

  • http://twitter.com/maddooma mad-d

    the problem is they are not playing like a team and their is still no brother hood.

    fact is they cant play D and they panic with the puck in stead of taking the time to make the right play.

    one day they look great one day they look like crap.

    another fact is the lock out season was suppose to help the younger teams in terms of speed and endurance , guess these kids were to busy playing call of duty

    until the isles start caring for one another this season is not going any where.

    maybe the next high pick can do something

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