The Islanders showed resiliency tonight and according to some have also broken the curse as they have scored more than one goal for the first time several games (second in eight). Perhaps Capuano can take that plateau and build on it….I am sure he will have plenty of tape to digest after tonight’s game.
Walking around the locker room I heard some great things, well – decent things. Guys like Mottau, Weight and Roloson know that there was effort there. Roloson pointed out in his interview that “some of the younger guys have three years in the league, so they know what to do”. He also went on about the positive thinking he’s spoken about a few times. It’s a veteran presence like his that will ensure that a losing mentality doesn’t grasp these young impressionable Islanders in a strangle hold. One thing that impressed me, and I said this was something that needed to be done – was Roloson said that Capuano basically told the team to go out there and play hockey tonight.
The normally bubbly and approachable Josh Bailey sat quietly in his stall – Dee Karl and I tip-toed up to him and asked him for a minute and he obliged, but you can see the frustration looking for a place to erupt. When asked if he was trying a little too hard, he said he felt he wasn’t doing anything different than normal and one of his two penalties tonight he couldn’t really do much about (regarding the slashing penalty). I couldn’t ask the questions I wanted to ask, because the poor kid had been through enough for one night. He did ask me how I have been though, as Josh and I have developed a great relationship the last few years. If anyone is due to get that monkey off of his back – it’s Josh.
Matt Moulson and John Tavares preached about continued hard work and doing all the simple stuff that sometimes teams forget about.
Moving onto Jack Capuano’s post game press conference, he said that stick infractions and offensive zone penalties will always come back to haunt you and will be addressed. He commented when approached on what Roloson said – adding, “I did tell them to play and have fun, but we do have guidelines”. He spoke on his confidence behind the bench and said he felt good, but that he had plenty to look at but felt the team responded well. He was happy with the shots and felt the power play had some good chances but there was also work to be done there as well.
In all honesty, in my time doing the blog – I have been through three coaches now (Nolan, Gordon and now Capuano) and without a doubt – Jack Capuano is a bright hockey mind. He is intelligent, well spoken and has that cliched student of the game moniker about him. You can tell he is very technical, spoke of east-west and north-south play and just generally understands what you need to do (and NOT do) to be successful at hockey games. I am confident that given some time, and patience – he can squeeze a little bit more blood out of the stones he has been given. I am not saying there will be miracles made, but there is still plenty of hockey left to be played.
I can leave the rink, at least THIS MUCH more confident than I did prior to going down stairs. These things take time, I don’t expect miracles.
The streak may have reached eleven, but the effort put forth against a tough opponent in Tampa was a big step in the right direction.