Jack Capuano made no effort to conceal his disgust with the Islanders' atrocious 6-0 loss to Boston Saturday, blasting his struggling club for an alarming lack of effort.
It was the fourth shutout loss of the season for the flailing Islanders, who have now dropped 11 of their last 13 games.
"I'm going to make this quick so what do you need?" an incensed Capuano asked reporters in his post-game press conference before launching into a diatribe:
"My thoughts are when you play this game you need to play with fire, you need to play with passion, you need to play with determination, you need to play with desperation, you need to have ice bags after the game, maybe a little blood dripping right now. When you lace your skates up, the guy across from you, the guy on the left and right of you needs to know that you have their back and you're going to play for one another. And that just didn't happen tonight. And I don't have the answers why."
Was it lack of effort or execution?
"It's a little bit of both. We couldn't make a pass, [our] first shot was on the penalty kill. Like, enough about staying positive and we're going to get through this. You have to work," Capuano said in an intense 2:48 session with local media. "If you saw our team play at the second half of last year, you saw passion, you saw physicality. That's what you need to win hockey games in the National Hockey League every night. And right now, collectively, we are not doing that and you're not going to have success."
Capuano, who took over almost exactly one year ago as head coach when Scott Gordon was fired following a 10-game winless streak, said he knows what he would do if he were a player on the team.
"If you're a professional athlete and you have the desire to be a champion, you've got to find that within. 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 -- the energy and the desperation in our game last year in the second half. We had the best record in the National Hockey League after the All-Star Break. We were physical. We were tough to play against. And right now, we didn't win a battle tonight. We didn't win a 50/50 puck battle. They came out with a puck every time it was on their stick, and granted they're a great team. They're big, they're physical, but you know what? You gotta match that if you want to have success."
The normally even-keeled Capuano said he had good reason to be angry with his team after such an eyesore on home ice and continued to let them have it.
"This is our fans, this is our building with a good crowd. We want to play hard every night, but you know what? You're at home, this is your building. You want to make the National Hockey League playoffs, you gotta win home games. You gotta win the majority of your home games There were some guys that care on the bench tonight, no question, but the emotion was down, fragile. You know what? You have to battle through it."
The Islanders are not scheduled to practice tomorrow but will depart for Pittsburgh to face the Penguins Monday. They have not won on the road all season.