An already complicated goaltending situation for the Islanders was made even more so by the four-month lockout.
Now, with a condensed 48-game schedule that includes seven back-to-backs, the pressure is on coach Jack Capuano to play his hand properly. To cool the hot play of either Evgeni Nabokov or Rick DiPietro, or to run one of them into the ground and invite an injury, could stall any possible momentum gained.
And a prolonged losing streak, which this young team has shown to be susceptible to, will cut the floor out of the season before it can even begin.
“I think when a guy is playing well, it’s going to be tough to change him during a shortened season,” Capuano said Friday as his team prepared to kick the season off tonight at the Coliseum against the Devils.
“With that being said, we play seven games in the first 13 days, three games in the first five,” Capuano added. “It’s not going to be much practice time.”