New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano is under fire, then the Isles lose 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning and coach Cap comes out to say the Isles were good on 5v5. How?
The delusional fantasy land that New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano lives in must be fantastic. Everyone has a mullet. Everyone loves him. And the marquee song from Dirty Dancing plays non-stop.
Jack is just having the time of his life in that parallel universe hellscape where Capuano is king. Which explains why Jack Capuano came out in his post-game to say that the Isles were good on the 5-on-5. (Scroll to the minute mark).
A 4-1 loss doesn’t lend itself to saying the Isles were good in any department. Powerplay, penalty kill, 5-on-5. Anything.
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Until you pull the curtain on the game and look at some of the numbers and you notice that Jack Capuano wasn’t wrong. No, just because I’m listening to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack right now am I now a visitor in Jack’s world. Although, not or nothing, I’m having the time of my life.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
The Isles were dominant in 5-on-5 Corsi-for. Finishing the game with a cumulative Corsi-for of 53 to the Lightnings 39, according to Crosica.Hockey.
By the halfway mark of the first period, the Islanders were well ahead in 5-on-5 cumulative CF. And they never looked back. While the Lightning flatlined during the second the Isles built a bigger and bigger cumulative 5-on-5 Corsi-for.
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But as we all know hockey isn’t played just 5-on-5. Penalties happen. And for the Islanders, it happens more frequently than it should.
Six times last night the Isles were shorthanded. For 12 minutes, 20% of the game, their best player was rendered useless as he sat there and rode pine like he was a seventh defenseman.
La Grande Déllusion
And that’s where Caps delusions lie. Sure, the team played well 5-on-5, but the game isn’t played just 5-on-5. Both special teams are equally important, and the Isles are miserable on both.
The Lightning had six opportunities last night and converted on two of them. Giving the Isles a 66% PK efficiency on the night. Dropping them further down the PK efficiency table (28th by my count).
The Isles are playing an aggressive but undisciplined brand of hockey. And it isn’t working. We’re 14 games into the Islanders season and they’re well below .500. Capuano, has to change the tune in his head. May I suggest John Legends “I Can Change”? Give up the game, you got some changin’ to do Cap.