The Islanders' 10-game losing streak has cost Scott Gordon his position as head coach, as the team removed him from the role Monday morning and replaced him with Jack Capuano. Capuano has served as the bench boss in Bridgeport for the Isles' AHL affiliate, where he compiled a record of 133-100-8-14 over the past four seasons.
Gordon will remain with the Islanders as an adviser to GM Garth Snow.
On a conference call with the media, Snow would not say whether Capuano would retain the title of head coach for the duration of the season. "Right now we’re just concerned about Wednesday," Snow said. "But he’s the coach of this team as we speak right now. He’s excited about the opportunity and looking forward to getting this team turned around."
With his new team tied for last place in the NHL, Capuano's first task will be to ignite an absolutely sorry offense that has scored a meager eight goals over the past eight games. Since the start of the 10-game slide on Oct. 23, the Isles have ranked last in the NHL in goals per game with 1.4.
The current skid aside, Gordon's body of work as head coach wasn't any more impressive. Since taking over at the start of the 2008-09 season, the Islanders have had, by far, the worst points percentage in the NHL (.417) while accumulating a record of 64-94-23 and finishing last in the Atlantic Division every season.
"Scott did an excellent job not only with those two players, but all of our players," Snow said. "He has a knack for getting the best out of them, not only Tavares and Bailey, but our veterans. He’s done an excellent job, unfortunately he’s in a situation where we have 10 losses in a row and needed to make a change."
Part of the team's offensive struggles this season have been due to the absence of top point producers Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo, who have yet to suit up after suffering injuries in the preseason. Okposo should return sometime before the new year, while Streit could miss the entire season.
The timing is also a bit unfortunate for Gordon, as the Islanders return from the West Coast to face an easier portion of their schedule. New York will face sub-.500 teams in three of the next five games, with Wednesday's opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning, just a game over the 50-50 mark.