Let's take a look at the New York Islanders' player usage charts for the 2013 season to get a better picture of what Coach Capuano was thinking this season and how his players responded to his poking and prodding.
- When you look at the charts for the Penguins, one thing one might notice is that the lines are often not bunched up the way one might expect. Part of this is the rampant injury issues the Penguins have had with some star players; others is Dan Bylsma's penchant for jumbling lines like he's creating a stew out of random leftovers left in the fridge. Looking at the Islanders' chart, while I wouldn't say that it's always clear who works with whom, some items are striking. John Tavares, Brad Boyes, and Matt Moulson are all attached to each other by the hip, making it all the more surprising that Capuano decided to bump Moulson off that line after the first game of this series. Similarly, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald are clearly a defensive pairing.
- Thomas Hickey didn't play in Game 2 or 3. Was he hurt in Game 1, or was he a casualty of the 5-0 rout? If he was benched for one game going the wrong way, I disagree with it. If he's hurt, that's a fairly big loss.
- Ľubomír Višňovský is a name I love to type. He's also a pretty solid possession guy for the Isles. They should be very grateful to him for deciding to honor his contract and return to the NHL after casting doubt on his willingness to do that after the lockout ended.
- Brian Strait has outperformed Mark Streit this year. Not that I'm saying the Penguins did something stupid. I still don't think Strait had a place on this team, but I think this is pretty remarkable for a guy who only got into 19 games this season.
- Marty Reasoner's bubble just looks out of place, doesn't it? It screams "faceoff specialist". Get off the bench, take your D-zone faceoff, and get back on the bench--shades of Mike Eastwood.