I said earlier this season that this would be our final accounting of NY Islanders coach Jack Capuano. Would he be able to get this team to the next step? Would Jack finally grow into the key role as a playoff experienced coach for a perennial playoff contender?

This season was a mixed bag, and suffice to say, so has been the playoffs on this accounting. As much as the Islanders have shown a resiliency and ability to take out a playoff newbie like Florida, they have shown a lack of poise and questionable strategy in key moments in the Tampa Bay Lightning series.

Above all, there seems to be a bad habit of Cappylytics™ peeking out time and time again, which is setting key items back and putting the team in a precarious position.

Cappylytics™ – using older unskilled depth players instead of skilled/talent youth when feeling pressure. (thx @BrainGamesLI#isles

— B.D. Gallof (@BDGallof) May 5, 2016

So let us talk about what Cappylytics™ means:

The constant use of older unskilled depth players instead of skilled/talent youth.

This has been a bad habit this year by Jack Capuano… from taking so long to use Adam Pelech over Brian Strait, and then again when using Brian Strait over Ryan Pulock within the season. Then, come playoffs, it is with Ryan Strome with Steve Bernier playing instead.

For a team built on analytics and who uses advanced player tracking technology, this contradiction in player use is mind-boggling.

First of all, it is impeding the progress of young players. The Islanders really require their kids to rise up and take over veteran positions with their low-cost Entry Level Contracts (ELC) to blend with the higher cost veteran contracts to remain competitive as they near the Salary Cap ceiling.  Not to mention, analytically, skill will always come ahead to the very loose and highly unverifiable veteran ‘items’ that coaching is seeming to prefer.

This situation seems to be coming to a head with the highly questionable benching of Ryan Strome in round 2 of the playoffs. There is not an analytic on god’s green earth that supports using depth player Steve Bernier over him. Yet, we are possibly going to watch this happen again in the most key game of the playoffs for the Islanders… game 4 in Brooklyn.

Steve Bernier via his season stats using Corsi For (CF%):

Note: A Corsi event is any shot toward the goal (SOG – Shots on Goal, Missed Shots and Blocked Shots),  so a higher Corsi For is desired.

He was CF%: 45.76 this past season.

So, in the playoffs he must be playing better for Cappy to keep using him, right??? WRONG.

CF%: 45.13

Now let’s look at Ryan Strome.

Ryan Strome was CF% 55.48 this past season.

How about the playoffs, you ask?

CF%: 52.85

He is below his season, yet higher than Bernier.

Maybe this will make it more apparent based on the last 3 seasons:

<a href=”http://ownthepuck.blogspot.com/”><img alt=”Dashboard 1 ” src=”http://public.tableau.com/static/images/QY/QYTK4SXBF/1_rss.png” style=”border: none”/></a>

This should speak volumes.

Now, truthfully ALL coaches make decisions that don’t fall in line to best practices in analytics. However, this situation is starting to look above and beyond this, as possibly a more systemic problem for an organization that depends on analytics and being ahead of the curve now that expectation and pressure is on. Coaching seems to be falling into bad habits here, and it is putting the team at a disadvantage when they need EVERYTHING they have against an experienced and dangerous opponent in round 2.

Hopefully, numbers and some logic prevails tonight, and we see both Ryan Pulock (back from injury), and Ryan Strome back on the ice.

Because this… no matter how you slice or dice it, gives the Isles the best chance to win.

UPDATE: Looks like both could IN tonight based on practice this morning. However Isles says lineup TBD (to be determined).