Note to Captain Jack Capuano: Quit crying about the Brian Boyle goal, you lost that game in the third period.
The Islanders had Game 3 won last night all they had to do is keep the Lightning at bay for 38 more seconds.
Of course they couldn’t.
Nikita Kucherov tied that game, sending the game to overtime, where Boyle put the shot to Thomas Hickey’s head and scored the winning goal.
And no matter how much the Capuano complains, Captain Jack certainly isn’t in command of the situation.
“I’m going to stand by what I said, and I thought the hit was high and it led to a really good scoring chance for them,” Capuano said on a conference call with reporters. “These guys that are getting suspended for a game or three or whatever it is, it’s a fast game, they’re not playing dirty, they’re trying to finish their checks and do the right things — and when things happen so fast, shoulders, elbows, sticks, they get up and they get up high. To me, just seeing Thomas after the game, bleeding out of his mouth and his teeth, he got hit in the head, so I’m not going to change my opinion on that.”
Look, no one wants to see a player hurt, but Boyle’s shot to the head was not intentional. The league is not disciplining him, so it’s over. Capuano is trying to protect his players as well, so you can see where he’s coming from.
But that’s not the story. This part is over. The Islanders will need to turn the page if they plan on winning this series.
Losing Game 3 certainly was a blow, since the Isles outplayed the Lightning, especially in the first period. They should have won this game, but remember these are the Eastern Conference Champions you are talking about.
Coach Jon Cooper will have them never give up and as you saw last night, they play 60 minutes.
“They did a good job responding,” said Josh Bailey, who came back with two goals after missing the fiest two games with an upper body injury. “They’re not going to go away. What stings is we had chances to put them away, and we’re disappointed in that.”
More importantly, it’s going to be how the Isles respond on Friday. Will they come out with the same fire as in Game 3 or will they come out flat?
If it’s the latter, then this series is over.
Over as soon as Sunday, before the ending of Game of Thrones.
Hopefully Capuano gets that message across to his team. Because Boyle’s hit on Hickey is spilt milk.