Jack Capuano is old school.
The New York Islanders head coach rocks a vintage mullet and has a hard-nosed mentality when it comes to calling out his players publicly.
The Islanders have lost eight of their last 13 games and are coming off a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Capuano knows if they continue to struggle they won’t last very long in the post-season – that’s assuming they can hold on to a playoff spot.
“We need [Ryan] Strome to be better. We need Brock [Nelson] to be better. We need [Josh] Bailey to be better. We need guys to be better if we’re going to have any chance at all,” Capuano said Monday. “They see it, it’s black and white. The video doesn’t lie. It doesn’t come down to X’s and O’s, it doesn’t come down to systems. It comes down to how hard you want to compete.
“We’ve struggled with a few guys, for sure, about their compete level and their work ethic. It has to be better. There’s no doubt that those guys they have to figure it out at some point…The guys mentioned need to pick their pick their [expletive] up and start playing.”
Capuano isn’t the only one upset with the way the Islanders have been playing. Captain John Tavares called his team’s performance against the Penguins “unacceptable” and challenged his teammates to be better.
“We went out there and got embarrassed because we didn’t play hard enough,” Tavares said. “Everyone has to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves how much they want it.”
New York hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday.