New York Islanders Roundtable: Back to the Future
While the Islanders have roster issues, the problems with this team are not completely a talent/skill issue. In lieu of relieving the coach and general manager of their positions, the coaching staff has to reconnect with their players.
It seems that Capuano has lost sight of his player’s strengths and has boxed them into a grinding, dump and chase system that is unnatural to some of the skill players like Ryan Strome.
Not only is it unnatural to them, the Islanders do not have the size to play this kind of game and sustain it over 60 minutes. That contributes to the continued lack of energy showed night after night.
The coaching staff has to redistribute ice time and if there’s a possibility that Andrew Ladd is going to get going (he had a slow start last season but finished strong), he can’t play a fourth line with Casey Cizikas. It is a misuse of the skill he actually does have and there’s no way he gets it together when relegated to a fourth line – which is also hell on the confidence.
Which leads to confidence. Maybe Capuano needs to take some kind of classes for motivating or instilling confidence in others because this is another part of his job in which he fails miserably. There’s this notion that coaches have their guys and have guys who are not their guys and he’s got to get over that. This is especially true when he’s sitting a skill guy like Strome and Cizikas is thrown into almost every big situation.
If the Islanders are going to flail and fail, then they should be flailing and failing at the skates of their skill, not the grinders.