On Tuesday night the New York Islanders got a late goal from Kyle Okposo and managed to end their 10-game losing streak by taking down the mighty San Jose Sharks in a shootout. For the moment it appeared that the building insecurity for coach Jack Capuano was curbed.
There's one issue with that thinking: it assumes that Capuano was in danger of losing his position before the game. But perhaps Capuano's seat isn't as hot as you might expect for a team that has the second fewest points in the NHL and has taken a big step back after last season's playoff berth.
It looks like that is not a correction assumption. According to the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis, Cappy is in a good position for now.
Yet the Islanders coach is in better standing than most might believe, The Post has learned. A source familiar with the thinking of general manager Garth Snow said on Tuesday night Capuano is not being perceived as the problem with the plummeting team, and he will not be fired any time soon.
Yet the company line concerning Capuano has not changed. The statement that Capuano was currently safe confirmed what sources within the team said last week, that there was no immediate plan to change any of the coaches and the drastic fall off from last season's playoff berth -- the team's first since 2007 -- was more a result of damning injuries rather than Capuano losing his team.
In a way it's refreshing to see that the immediate reaction to a disappointing stretch (and season as a whole) isn't to fire the coach, particularly one who has been around for a couple of seasons now. There are indeed a lot of issues beyond coaching.
The injuries have mounted for the Islanders including to starting goalie Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. But let's be real: every team deals with significant injuries at some point.
The more significant issue is that the Islanders still have a pretty gaping hole on the back end and in net, even with Nabokov healthy. That's not really on Capuano but he can bear some of the responsibility. It's fair to expect a coach to get the best out of his group, something the worst defense in the league in terms of goals against doesn't indicate is happening.
Even with the win in San Jose, things are still a ways from well on the Island and something could very well end up changing in the coming weeks if/when things don't improve. It's just that thing might not be the head coach.
I guess Peter Laviolette is going to have keep waiting.