Nobody can blame New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano for expressing exasperation with his team Saturday.
The Islanders seemed headed in the right direction at last. They were 6-3-2 in their previous 11 games. They had an opportunity to extend that run against the hapless Carolina Hurricanes.
And yet they found ways to lose the game 3-2, leaving them 14-22-7 for the season. Their faint hope of getting back in the playoff race took another big hit with a six-game road trip looming on the horizon.
This left Capuano questioning the make-up of his team.
“Yeah, we have to prepare them, but we were all players,” he told reporters afterward. “They have to line up, look at the guy next to you, make sure you have his back, I have yours. But you have to compete. This is the best league in the world. It’s embarrassing tomorrow when they see themselves on video, sure, but how are you going to respond?”
And . . .
“If they want to move forward and they want to win hockey games, it’s the will to compete,” Capuano said. “How bad you want it — that’s what this game comes down to.”