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The Decision That Altered The Dynamics Of The New York Islanders-Florida Panthers Series

If the New York Islanders advance to the second round, one decision by head coach Jack Capuano will be hailed as changing the dynamics of the series.

Jack Capuano needed a hail mary, and Jack Capuano got one.

Trailing 2-0 at the start of the second period, the Isles had seemingly surrendered a goal to defenseman Aaron Ekblad that would’ve given the Rink Rats a trinity-nil lead.

But Capuano, who by judging Isles Twitter might just be the worst head coach in the history of the league, decided to roll the dice and challenge the ruling in an attempt to salvage any chance of a Game Three victory.

After a lengthy video review (in which Isles announcer Butch Goring changed his opinion of the ruling like forty times), referees Francois St. Laurent and Chris Rooney conferred that there was no goal on the play, due to Jonathan Huberdeau‘s skate blade crossing the line before the puck did the same.

If Cappy hadn’t challenged, or if he had challenged and hadn’t been successful, the Isles would have likely never experienced the momentum change that propelled them to a crucial victory. Down two games to one in the series, New York would be facing a daunting uphill battle to win the series.

Instead, the boys in blue and orange hold a commanding 2-1 series lead, thanks in part to the overtime heroics of both Thomas Hickey and Brock Nelson (the later of whom fed him the puck for the game-winner), and of course, Jack Capuano.

On a side note: one has to wonder if the Isles’ skipper is ever going to receive love. Fans constantly marvel over how much of a downgrade he is from legendary head coach Al Arbour. Those are pretty big shoes to fill — even for a coach with as much experience as Capuano.

NEXT: An Optimistic Letter To The Barclays Center

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.