For the second time in two straight games, Islanders forward Blake Comeau finds himself on the outside looking in – or more appropriately, on the topside looking down.
As always, there has been wild speculation as to head coach Jack Capuano’s decision to shelve Comeau in favor of heavyweight Trevor Gillies. In Gillies’ appearance last weekend against the Rangers – he played under three minutes after all – so this leads to further
On one hand, the mere possibility of Gillies playing or pummeling someone is as good of a deterrent as any. Policing if you will. On the other, it gives Capuano an option, at least a second option with Matt Martin in the lineup. It’s no secret that in the games without Gillies around, players have taken liberties with several Islanders. Perhaps Capuano is experimenting with added toughness in the lineup – before things get out of hand for his club.
But many question, and rightfully so – scratching a player who averages 12-18 minutes a game in favor of someone who averages TWO.
Let’s work it out:
In three games this season – Comeau has played 39:25, has two penalty minutes and, ONE shot on goal.
In the games I’ve seen Comeau skate this season – I haven’t been very impressed. He’s been slow to the puck, made questionable decisions on both sides and hasn’t generated much. Comeau started off last season slow as well – perhaps it just takes him a while for him to find his groove.
I’ve seen some talk on Twitter asking why Comeau over Bailey, so to be fair here are Bailey’s stats for the four games he’s played:
Josh Bailey has 3 shots and 2 PIM in 56:29 played. While it’s not too much better, perhaps Capuano sees more on Bailey’s game at this point.
I’ve also heard Capuano repeatedly refer to “passengers on the bus”, both after a loss and a win so far – so to me he’s unhappy with effort out of some of his players.
At the end of the day, this is just part of the game – it doesn’t mean a player is about to be traded or there is a huge conspiracy behind anything that’s happening. It’s a coach holding his players accountable for their play – and that’s what good coaches do.
In other words, move along folks – nothing to see here.