The New York Islanders went into Tuesday nights’ game coming off an embarrassing third-period collapse against the Columbus Blue Jackets. You would think that they would be motivated to not let that happen again. You would be wrong.
As they have done so often this season, the New York Islanders played a perfectly good forty minutes of hockey. Coach Capuano had to once again try to explain away his inability to get a sixty-minute effort from his team.
“We went through that streak where… our penalty kill was good”
The penalty kill is not on a streak. The Islanders finished 4th in the league in PK% last year and up until tonight’s less than savory showing, that’s about where they were this year.
I can’t find an adequate quote, to sum up the middle of this post game so I’m going to call it…
The bridge starts with a question from a reporter that subtly suggests the win streak was a fluke and these last two games represent a regression to the norm, due to the high volume of shots they consistently give up.
Whether it went over his head entirely and he was just trying to dodge or he just didn’t understand the question, it is at this point that Jack Capuano manages to explain himself in a circle.
Capuano begins his answer by talking about how the way the Islanders play; the team strategy is apparently to give up shots.
This is acceptable because they’ll be “shots from the outside”. As much as it pains me to say it, I can understand this logic. The fact that the team may actually have a strategy that involves pushing shots to the outside, which I’m assuming is a lower percentage area, is refreshing.
This revelation is followed by a decent amount of Capuanosense that doesn’t really form complete thoughts.
Eventually, he finds his way back to the question of how they expect to win while allowing so many shots (which he had already explained). Sadly, this is where the Capuanosense arrives at its zenith.
Despite having already said that the team strategy is to allow shots (in whatever amount) from “the outside”, he then goes on to say when you let up a ton of shots, eventually, they’re going to go in, effectively negating his explanation. All of this is to say I wish there had been a real answer to this question.
This season the New York Islanders have been out-shot by their opponents by 93 shots. The shot differential in losses is -84. The shot differential in wins is -9. I know this is a point of contention among people who are much better at compiling and using stats than I am, but I feel like there might be a small correlation between shot differential and winning.
“We’re gonna need all twenty guys going if we’re gonna have success.”
As much as I enjoyed the nonsense from the middle of this post game, this quote is my favorite of the evening. It is my favorite because it is both true and redundant. This is the National Hockey League. Of course, you are going to need every member of your team pulling every night for all 60 minutes.
The follow-up question that never seems to get asked of Coach Capuano, however, is why this has been an issue for the length and breadth of his tenure.
If you are an Islanders fan that has watched a decent number of games while Jack Capuano has been the coach, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that you have seen an inordinate amount of 40-minute efforts result in disappointment. If only we had someone who could be in charge of sufficiently motivating the team…