The 2016-17 season has come to a premature end for the New York Islanders. Questions need answering and maybe some opening will be created. If the coach is one, Lindy Ruff should seriously be considered.
He has a 24-12-4 record as he took the Islanders from the bottom of the East to the cusp of the playoffs.
But that doesn’t change the interim tag stuck to his name. Or the fact that he might not even want to be a coach.
So if the Islanders have to start a coaching search int he offseason because Doug wasn’t a fan of being a bench boss, the Isles should start with Lindy Ruff.
New York Islanders
This isn’t to say that Ruff, if interested, should be handed the reigns right away. It’s someone to seriously consider.
Lindy Ruff was recently fired by the Dallas Stars after finishing the season 15 points out of the last wild-card spot in the West. Much like Jack Capuano, this was coach fired for his GM’s failings.
Ruff led the Dallas Stars to first place in the Central Division and second in the entire NHL just a season ago. This season his suspect goaltending finally showed their true colors with a league-worst .893 SV%. With even average NHL goaltending his team would have made the playoffs.
This is a coach who has NHL pedigree. Something the Islanders have been lacking for years. Jack Capuano had his few runs, but we all knew he wasn’t an NHL coach. Not for a team with championship aspirations.
The Islanders, unlike the Stars, have league average if not slightly above league average goaltending. What they need help with is structure and balance. How to setup to close out games or not be blown out by five or more goals on three separate occassions this season.
Doug Weight never coached a day in his life before being handed the job after Capuano was let get. Not in the NHL not in the AHL. He did exceptionally well in his time behind the bench. It’s his job to lose. If he looks to move up to the GM’s position, if his predecessor is let go, Lindy Ruff would be a fantastic candidate.