Monday night’s blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning left New York Islanders players backing their head coach Jack Capuano.
With the 4-0 loss, in which all four goals were allowed in the first two periods, the Islanders dropped to a 5-7-3 record on the season. Despite being tied for the Eastern Conference lead in games played, the Islanders own the second least points in the conference and last-place Carolina has two games in hand sitting just one point back.
When prompted as to whether or not the team needed a shakeup, the Islanders stood behind their coach on Monday night.
“If I get what you’re implying, and I think I do, the answer is no,” Cal Clutterbuck said to Newsday when asked if the team need a fundamental change, “it’s just... No.
“It’s something different every night, it seems. We fix one thing and something else lets you down. But everything is fixable.”
Capuano did however take the blame for the loss, saying he needs to find ways to get the team to create more scoring opportunities. The Islanders own 40 goals through 16 games.
“It’s on me,” Capuano said, per Arthur Staple of Newsday. “We have the players in there who can score goals. I have to find the right combinations to find some offense. We’ve been able to do that in the past as a staff.
“We just have to find a way to get some offense, and that’s on me.”
Captain John Tavares, who has five goals and 12 points this season, came to the defence of his head coach, placing the blame solely on himself and fellow skaters.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with (the coaching staff) or their approach to the team,” Tavares told Newsday. “I have confidence in our group, in our staff.
“It comes down to the guys stepping on the ice and playing to our identity, playing the way we know we can play.”
Capuano took as head coach of the Islanders during the 2010-11 season when Scott Gordon was fired after a 4-10-3 start to the year.
He owns a 215-183-59 career record with the team and has reached the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons. The Islanders have eclipsed 100 points in each of the past two seasons. They are currently on pace for 67 points this season.
The Islanders will next take to the ice on Friday, when they host the 10-3-2 Pittsburgh Penguins