Jack Capuano Tweaks Islanders Lines

Jack Capuano has only had a small five-game sample size to work with, but it’s already becoming evident that he is losing patience with his New York Islanders offense.For the second straight morning, Capuano juggled his lines after his team produced close to nothing on the Isles’ first road trip of the season. The lines from this morning looked as follows:

  • Grabner-Tavares-Okposo,
  • Nelson/Bouchard-Nielsen-Bailey
  • Moulson-Regin-Clutterbuck
  • Martin/Boulton-Cizikas-McDonald

Arthur Staple reported that Brock Nelson will be the odd-man out for tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

So, what’s different?

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Most notably, Matt Moulson, a staple on John Tavares’ wing for the past four seasons, has been moved off the top-line to the third-line. Moulson, a three-time 30-goal scorer, has scored only 1 goal (his only point) through the season’s first five games.

Moving up is Michael Grabner, who currently holds the Islanders’ lead in points this season (7). Grabner seems to have added a playmaking touch to his game. With five assists in October, Grabs has already matched his season-total from all of the 2013 season.

The only other noticeable difference is Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s placement on the team’s second line. In place of Grabner, Bouchard will have the opportunity to live up to his billing as a top-six forward next to Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey, the teams No. 3 and No. 4 scorers thus far.

As for any judgments or reactions: save them for after the game. The switches could benefit the team, or it could be back to the drawing board on Wednesday morning.

The Islanders head coach has been disappointed with his offensive unit dating back to April of the 2013 season, where he was consistently forced to make in-game switches to his line-up.

What are your thoughts on Jack Capuano’s decision to scramble the New York Islanders’ lines? Sound off in the comments’ section below!


Tags: HOCKEY Jack Capuano New York Islanders NHL Nhl Puck Drop

  • Stuart Oppenheimer

    comment? I will, as you asked, wait until AFTER the game! I would be amazed if Bouchard can work on ANY line, but…

    • Chris Triantafilis

      One assist, right? Wasn’t awful, but still clearly trying to fit in.

      • Ted

        I thought he looked a lot better against Buffalo.

  • mike horan

    dont love it…think grabner/neilson as well as tavares/moulson should be a permanent package

    • Chris Triantafilis

      I think so, as well, although I think the Isles are going to try and see if Moulson can exist on his own line.

    • Chris Triantafilis

      It’s fair, although I think the Isles hope for Moulson to do a little more on his own before they hand him a contract.

  • Scheben

    Not sure how to feel about this just yet. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how things are gelling tonight!

    • Chris Triantafilis

      What did you think? They certainly peppered Miller all game…..1 point to show for, unfortunately.

      • Scheben

        It was an excellent effort, that’s for sure. I surprisingly liked Grabner on the first line. I liked the second line as well. The third looked good (Bouchard is SO close to becoming a serious threat out there), Moulson without Tavares though simply doesn’t work. If we break that line up I’d consider trading him (I know, I know) for someone with a bit more speed and strength.

        • Chris Triantafilis

          No, I actually agree. It was my stance before the season too. It’s nothing against Moulson, but the Isles need someone who can create space for himself on the ice next to JT. Moulson gets the job done – he finishes – but he’s not going to skate the puck around the offensive zone. Isles need that, If Moulson can’t get going on another line, then he may be gone.

  • Ted

    Looking for more offense,something a little dynamic to shake up the team? Bring up Strome!

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Strome’s play in the AHL thus far shows he may not be ready yet. The team will figure it out soon, but we don’t want to wait too long.

      • Ted

        Strome is probably bummed out he didn’t stick with the team after training camp and his play shows it. If you wanna wait a few more games, fine, but I still say bring him up.