Feb 23, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on the bench during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Islanders beat the Sabres 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Astoria, NY – In New York Islanders offseason news that made Isles Nation collectively respond with, “Ummm…what?” yesterday afternoon, it was reported that the University of Maine had expressed interest in stealing current Isles head coach Jack Capuano away from the organization.
Which would be really interesting…if it had any chance of happening.
Not to give too much credence to the possibility of Cappy actually leaving the Islanders to coach hockey at his alma mater, the story is still interesting from a news standpoint.
Capuano has not discussed his contract publicly, nor has general manager Garth Snow or team owner Charles Wang. However, it’s widely assumed that it was a three-year deal, which would have made Cappy an unrestricted coaching free agent as of the close of the Islanders season.
Also, the fact that Capuano played collegiate hockey at the University of Maine, coupled with the fact that his son will be playing on the school’s baseball team next year only thickens the intrigue.
All that being said, there’s literally no chance Cappy isn’t re-signed by the Islanders relatively soon. He’s proven that he can win with this group of players and with the organization ready to capitalize on this season’s momentum heading into the 2013-14 campaign, it’d behoove Snow and Wang to ink Capuano to another multi-year deal.
And sooner, rather than later.
I think we’re all anxious for some real Islanders offseason news. You know, the kind that involves less ‘unsubstantiated rumor’ and more ‘solidifying John Tavares’s right wing.’
(Or something along those lines.)
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When news leaked yesterday that Winnipeg Jets centerman Alex Burmistrov was unhappy with his current playing situation, it was basically cannon fodder for trade rumors in NHL circles. I wouldn’t mind having Burmistrov in the fold, but there’s no need for Snow to pay full price. It’d be the longest of long shots – and considering the Islanders wealth of forward prospects, almost obscenely unlikely – but I wouldn’t rule anything out when talking about Garth’s plans for the future. The guy is a magician when it comes to getting the most bang for his buck.
The closer to expected form the Penguins play in their series against the Senators, the more I’m reminded of how well the Islanders had to play in the opening round to give the Penguins such trouble. Ottawa was considered a hot team coming into the playoffs, and a potential team to upset the top-seeded Pens. So far, Pittsburgh has dominated the Senators, something they had difficulty doing on a regular basis against the Islanders. Isles Nation is certainly looking forward to next season and seeing this Islanders team take the next step towards greatness.
The Coliseum crowd showed its support for the home team throughout the first round of the postseason, especially after Game 6, where the fans saluted the Islanders by chanting and cheering as the team took a slow lap around the ice. It’s clear that hockey on Long Island is back, and the fans in Uniondale are some of the best in the NHL.
Plain and simple, folks: vote Tavares in the EA NHL14 cover vote (covervote.nhl.com). I’m hoping to see a Twitter timeline that’s full of #NHL14Tavares today. Let’s get it done.
Last Night In The NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators (PIT 3-1)
The Pittsburgh Penguins had their offensive firepower on full display last night, beating the Ottawa Senators 7-3 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal to take a 3-1 series lead.
Despite having leads of 1-0 and 2-1 early in the game, Ottawa could not keep the Penguins out of their net; at one point, the Senators surrendered six unanswered goals across the second and third periods, effectively ending any chance of a comeback.
Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves in net for the Penguins, although most were of the low-pressure variety, considering the sizable lead held by Pittsburgh for most of the game. By contrast, Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson was benched after allowing the sixth Pittsburgh goal.
Game 5 is scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center, where the Penguins are 4-1 this postseason.
The Senators have a difficult road ahead if they’re to force Games 6 and 7 in the series, a fact not lost on head coach Paul MacLean. MacLean did not take any questions from reporters after the game, instead pointing to the score sheet and noting that his team would be ready to play for Game 5 in Pittsburgh.
Penguins vs. Senators game highlights…
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL playoff coverage and Isles offseason news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff, as we’re always happy to talk hockey.