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Islanders Roundtable: Is Capuano Right for the Job?

Oct 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 17, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on his bench in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on his bench in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Farrell Hirsch

I don’t think anyone believes Jack Capuano is the best coach for the Islanders. In his heart of hearts, Jack Capuano knows that the Islanders would be better off with Mike Babcock or Joel Quenneville or Barry Trotz. You can sometimes see it in his face during press conferences.  

His expressions and his answers seem to say “What do you people expect, I’m just Jack Capuano”.   Garth Snow must know that. And I suspect it won’t be too terribly long before Malkin and Ledecky prove that they know it too. I’m betting on Summer of 2017.  

But all of that is unfair to Jack. There are at least 20 other coaches who are not elite. And we should acknowledge that we are not pining away for John Tortotrella, or Ted Nolan, or Willie Desjardins.

And the question wasn’t about the “best” coach, it was about the “right” coach. So lets acknowledge that these sorts of answers are fluid. He who is the right coach now, maybe wasn’t last year, and might not be again next year.  

So is Jack Capuano the “right coach”? He seems to have the trust of both the players and management.  He’s coming off the most successful back to back regular seasons, and the most successful playoff year the Isles have had in decades. And in a very Islanderish metric, he has produced more wins per salary dollar, than any coach in hockey the past four years.  

In order for him to not be the right coach, right now, there would have to be someone who you believe could step in today and have better result this season.  Without that name on my lips, yeah, Jack is the right coach.

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