Many were wondering whether or not Jack Capuano would still be the New York Islanders head coach entering the 2015-2016 season. We now know the answer to that as the team announced that they will retain his services per general manager Garth Snow's lengthy interview with Arthur Staple of Newsday. Capuano will embark on his fifth full season and sixth season overall as head coach with the Islanders.
Supporters of Capuano have stated that he deserves another chance. He was at the helm of a team that finished third in the division and stretched the Capitals to seven games -- the furthest the team has gone in the playoffs since the 2001-2002 season. The elimination seemed excusable given the plethora of injuries that the team sustained to three of its top six defensemen.
Others felt Capuano should be tossed aside. In five seasons the coach has never clinched home ice in the playoffs and has only made the playoffs twice, failing to advance each year. The roster seemed like it was much improved and playoffs were an expectation. The decision to scratch a 25-goal scorer for a journeyman in the playoffs was suspect, and the team was less than stellar in the last month and a half.
Snow touched on some of the performance issues and disappointment in the interview with Staple -- namely special teams and the failure to bring their "A game" in Game 7 against the Capitals -- but lineup decisions were not included other than general praise for Capuano's communication with the players.
The reality is that Capuano will be the coach for next year. He and the rest of the coaching staff will undoubtedly be monitored closely by both the fans and the team alike. Whether or not the team gives him a short leash if the team falters or the doubters will give him credit should they succeed remains to be seen.