By Nick Colombo
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So far, the Islanders firing of Scott Gordon is following the familiar pattern of your standard breakup. It starts with that awkward meeting where both sides decide things just aren’t working out. Then there’s that weird period of time where you’re technically broken up but still hanging out, kind of like how the Islanders plan to keep Gordon around as an advisor. Then you have the all important rebound relationship. It’s not destined to last, but hey you’re just looking for a change of pace and a girl you can have a little fun with. For the Islanders, that girl is Jack Capuano.
So who is this interim coach with the bizarre haircut in his official team photo? Honestly, I didn’t know much about Jack before yesterday. The fact that I actually have a life keeps me from watching too many Bridgeport Sound Tiger games. However, I contacted some people in Bridgeport who do know Jack, and I was able to get an impression of the Isles interim coach.
Justin Bourne, who played under Jack and is now a hockey blogger for USA Today, writes that Jack Capuano is a player’s coach who treats his main guys well. Justin makes it clear, Jack is a great guy to play for, but he lacks in the X’s and O’s department. My sources tend to agree.
To me this is the biggest problem with Jack. You’re asking a guy who isn’t an X’s and O’s guy to fix a highly complicated system on an elite level. However, my sources in Bridgeport tell me that Jack ran Scott Gordon’s system effectively in the AHL and was able to make adjustments when teams were exploiting it. Whether or not he can do this in the NHL will determine his success or failure. The Islanders don’t suffer from a lack of motivation. They suffer from a lack of production. If Jack can fix or simplify the system to create more production, then maybe, just maybe, the relevance of this season can be saved.
Yet, the bigger problem for the Islanders isn’t the present but the future. At the end of the season they will need a new head coach, and that presents two huge problems. First, they have to actually find a good coach to come here. With the Islanders reputation and monetary woes they’re going to have a tough time attracting someone with a proven NHL track record. If they can’t, they’ll again be stuck with another up and comer who is more likely to falter. Second, once they find a new coach that person will likely implement an entirely new system. This means more confusion for the Isles young players and another wasted year of learning something new.
After 10 straight losses, I understand why the Islanders fired Scott Gordon. However, don’t fool yourselves Islanders fans. There is nothing positive about this move. This is a tremendous set back to the Islanders rebuilding plan and their organization.
- Scott Gordon Let Go As Islanders Head Coach (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Masked Man: An Islanders Mess (newyork.cbslocal.com)