COLUMBUS — John Tortorella and Jack Capuano worked together for the first time at the World Cup, with Capuano part of Tortorella’s U.S. coaching staff at what turned out to be a disappointing run for the Americans in Toronto.
But the admiration both coaches have for one another is strong.
“To watch him work, I learned a ton from him,” Tortorella said of Capuano. “A lot of people did their homework on him and just raved about the way he prepares. I know there’s been a lot of chatter along the way here (about Capuano’s job security), but he’s a really good coach.”
Capuano said of Tortorella: “I learned we have a lot in common away from the rink. He’s a good man, a good family man and it was great to be a part of all that.”
Capuano had never been part of an international tournament behind the bench, a similar situation that Tortorella had with Devils coach John Hynes and Predators assistant coach Phil Housley, who were also on the staff along with Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and Scott Gordon, the former Isles coach now behind the bench with the Flyers’ AHL team.
“I was the older guy and I had a blast with them,” Tortorella said. He added that he did counsel Capuano on one aspect of the Islanders coach’s preparation.
“I try to impress upon him, sometimes you can’t give the team all the info you have. I think that’s important,” Tortorella said. “You can have all the info, but how much gets to the player can be too much at times.”
Strome gets well, gets back in
Ryan Strome played on Saturday after missing Thursday’s game with an illness. He took his spot back from rookie Anthony Beauvillier, who was a healthy scratch once again.
Scott Mayfield and Thomas Greiss were the other Isles in street clothes. J-F Berube backed up Jaro Halak, marking the 10th straight game that Berube has dressed as the backup.