After losing five of their last six games, many New York Islanders fans are calling for Jack Capuano to be fired. If he is axed, Randy Carlyle could be a replacement.
By Justin Weiss
‘This s— already?’
That was the reaction when someone brought up the prospects of a coaching change in a Facebook group after the New York Islanders dropped their fifth game in less than two weeks to the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.
“Yes,” the writer of the post responded. “This s— already.”
While the Isles’ 2015-16 campaign is far from over — in fact, it just started — a disappointing start, partly (or mostly, depending on who you ask) a product of poor coaching, could potentially salvage the season if Garth Snow doesn’t act quickly and get rid of Jack Capuano.
The ‘Hit the road, Jack’ argument isn’t a new one, as Elite Sports NY documented in an article on Sunday. Fans have had problems with the current head coach’s philosophy, line changes, in-game decision making, timeout calling and player favoritism.
While a Facebook poll shows that 87% of fans would prefer a new coach (625 responses), many are uncertain as to whom the replacement would be if Capuano was replaced.
That’s where former Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle comes in.
The former Jets, Maple Leafs and Penguins player was fired by Toronto on January 6, 2015 after his team lost 7 of their previous 10 games. He finished his career as head coach of the Leafs with a 91-78-19 record.
“I pay attention and I watch a lot of games,” Carlyle told Darren Dreger of TSN. “You have to stay current and be willing to learn new things and steal a few ideas along the way.
“It’s all part of evolving as a coach.”
Carlyle would be more than open to returning to the league he’s amassed much success in.
“My goal is to coach 1,000 games because I played over 1,000 games. That milestone would mean something to me personally,” Carlyle said.
He would change his philosophy as well to facilitate the influx of young players in the NHL.
“You have to understand there are things that you could have been hard and fast on 10 years ago that you can’t be as hard and fast on now,” he said. “You have to be somewhat of a chameleon and be fully capable of changing with the group.”
He would have to facilitate the needs of a team that features young talents such as Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Ryan Pulock (…), Ryan Strome, Scott Mayfield (………..) and Michael Dal Colle (…………………………………………..).
Carlyle won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07, and has advanced past the first round of the playoffs three times during his coaching career. His team’s have qualified for the playoffs six times, while he has coached four division winning and division runner-up teams.
While it’s unlikely that Capuano will be axed with the current Isles front office, anything is possible. And if they still aren’t winning by the time the calendar changes to December, you never know.
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