Jack Capuano does not face nearly the media scrutiny encountered by most New York-area coaches and managers, given the Islanders’ relatively low profile.
But with his team in the middle of a late-season slide, things could start getting a little heated down the stretch. Do not expect Capuano to sweat it. His approach to that part of the job is simple and pragmatic.
He is not an entertainer like former Jets coach Rex Ryan or an emotionally open book like the Mets’ Terry Collins, the current gold standard for media relations among New York coaches and managers.
But he is not as guarded as many coaches in his sport and others, either.
“I’ve always respected what you guys do,” he said after a practice in suburban Dallas last week, before the team’s two most recent losses in a 1-4-2 slump. “There are times where I probably could boil over, but I don’t. There are times I could call out certain players, but I don’t.
“To me it’s about the team. It’s not about what everybody thinks and everybody writes. I don’t really listen to what outside people have to say.”
Capuano said there are times questions, especially about injuries, test his patience. But he takes a deep breath and moves along.
“You go into these press conferences and it’s: Is it upper body? Is it lower body?” he said. “To me I always tell the truth. I never go in there with an agenda or trying to go in there with a curve. I’m going in there to be honest, with integrity, so everybody knows exactly what I’m about. I’ve never changed who I am. I want to be honest.
“I think personally as far as the media goes the only thing with the media is they don’t see the other side of it. But I’m really comfortable with the media.”
Capuano does not spend much time worrying about the potential pitfalls of dealing with the New York-area press corps on a regular basis, as many coaches do.
“Honestly, the pitfalls, it doesn’t bother me,” he said. “People can write what they want to write. I’m just trying to concentrate on what I need to concentrate on. That’s it.”