Newly-appointed interim head coach Jack Capuano will make his NHL head-coaching debut tonight against Tampa Bay.
Although Tampa Bay is also struggling with three straight losses, Capuano has a much bigger uphill battle--a ten-game winless streak-- to surmount when he steps behind the bench as head coach for the first time at Nassau Coliseum tonight.
"I think there will be butterflies. Went I went from the ECHL to AHL then to the NHL as an assistant I had them. I think it's always going to be like that. But you have to have the confidence in yourself and the belief in yourself to know you're going to do the right things."
Capuano, who replaced Scott Gordon Monday, knows the stakes are higher, however,
"It's different for me. In the American Hockey League it was about development. In the National Hockey League, it's about winning," Capuano said. "We just have to make sure we're on the right track and get these guys moving in the right direction."
Capuano was not on the ice this morning, so he missed goaltender Rick DiPietro tweaking his left hand. It wasn't immediately clear how it happened, but DiPietro spent several minutes near the bench while Garrett Timms tended to him and examined his paw.
After practice, DiPietro went to ride the bike with his hand wrapped in ice; when asked if he was okay, the 29-year-old goaltender responded: "I'm awesome."
When asked who was starting in net, Capuano said his policy was not to divulge such details, but assume Dwayne Roloson gets the nod tonight.
According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, Doug Weight (back) is in, which means Trevor Gillies and Rob Schremp are likely the healthy scratches.
Live chat today at 4 p.m. Stop on by...lots to discuss!