Capuano emotional after 6-0 loss to Bruins
Isles Head Coach wants to see passion, desperation and will to win from his bench
Saturday, 11.19.2011 / 10:50 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
“If you’re a pro athlete and you’ve got the desire and the attitude to be a champion, you have to find that within,” Capuano said. “You have to have the will to compete at the highest level every night when you go into battle. We saw it last year. I saw it. I saw the energy and the desperation in our game last year.”
Referring to the post-All-Star Break run that saw the Islanders go on a tear to earn a 15-12-6 record and lead the league in points, Capuano said he saw their will to win with his own eyes and doesn’t understand what changed from last season to now.
|Rick DiPietro and Mark Streit defend the net against Chris Kelly at Nassau Coliseum on November 19, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)|
With just 2 shots on net in the first period and 23 on the night, the Islanders played the majority of the game in their defensive zone. Goaltender Rick DiPietro would give up three goals in the first period on 13 shots and rookie netminder Anders Nilsson would make his NHL debut, letting up three more goals in the final 20 minutes of play to record the final margin.
But Capuano wouldn’t put blame on the goaltenders. He was disappointed with the full team effort.
“We didn’t win a battle tonight,” Capuano said. “We didn’t win a 50/50 puck battle. They came out with the puck every time it was on their stick. Granted, (Boston is) a great team, they’re big, they’re physical, but you have to match that if you want to have success.”
Nilsson makes NHL debut
Nilsson was recalled to Long Island early Saturday morning after the team announced late Friday night that Al Montoya was suffering from a strained hamstring, leaving a three-goaltender system to just one healthy netminder in less than eight hours.
The news of Montoya’s injury came just eight hours after it was announced goaltender Evgeni Nabokov would be out indefinitely with a groin injury. Nabokov was placed on injured reserve on Saturday morning, retroactive to Nov. 17, and Nilsson was called up.
Going through six goaltenders last season and giving 12 rookies experience in the NHL, five of whom played in 20 games or more, Capuano told the media during his morning press briefing prior to Saturday night’s matchup that “We’ve always been an organization of opportunity.”
Nilsson made 14 saves and let in three goals in 40 minutes of play.
“It’s tough to be happy right now,” Nilsson said of his NHL debut. “I let in three goals in two periods. That’s not good, but of course it was fun to get the chance to play in the NHL. It’s been a dream since I started playing hockey, since I was a young guy. So it’s a dream come true to be able to get the chance to play in the NHL. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out good. It’s hard to be excited afterwards.”