Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Islanders coach Jack Capuano upset about Brian Boyle hit

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Right about now, we need John Tortorella.

We need old fire-and-fury Torts to walk up to the microphone and give it a few, well-chosen words with Jack Capuano in mind.

We need him to lean forward and say the familiar words.

“Shut your yap,” he needs to say sweetly.

Did you get a load of Capuano after the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders. He sort of shrugged off the fact his team blew three different leads. He didn’t want to say much about blowing a lead with 38.6 seconds to go. He didn’t want to talk about letting a home game slip away.

Instead, he wanted to bristle about a blow that Brian Boyle delivered to Thomas Hickey – the same Hickey who had applied a crunching hit on Jonathan Drouin. The league ruled that neither Boyle nor Hickey would face a hearing.

“It’s a direct shot to the head,” Capuano said. “I mean, (Boyle) is probably going to get suspended a game. That’s what I mean. The whole game, it shouldn’t come down to that. The referee is standing right there. I’ve watched it numerous times now. Those are the types of hits that we’re trying to eliminate from our game.

“It’s just too bad that it had to end that way. It’s frustrating because it’s right there. The play is right there. He’s looking right at it. The league can look at it if they want, but I’ve watched it four or five times, maybe more, and it’s just frustrating it had to end in that particular way with a head shot.

It just happens. I don’t think Boyle’s looking to hurt anybody. Maybe he was. I don’t know. At the end of the day, it’s a head. It’s clearly a head shot, and it determined the outcome of the game. We should have been on the power play.”

Lightning coach Jon Cooper saw it differently.

“I don’t have the sheet in front of me, but how many hits were in that game? Seventy? Eighty hits? I would say there were 15 harder than the one Boyle was involved in, and one that was a really hard hit,” Cooper said. “If you watched that game, to me, that was a mild hit compared to some of the banging that went on in that hockey game.

“The problem is with Boyle, he’s 6-foot-7, so when he’s going up against guys, I’m not sure how tall Hickey is, but he’s definitely not 6-foot. Those are tough situations, but at no point, in my opinion, I don’t think there was anything wrong with that. It was two guys trying to make a hockey play, and fortunately, it worked out for us.”

Boyle didn’t seem worried about being suspended. “I don’t think so. I’ve never had anything like that in my career. At this point, I really don’t have any control.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

Latest from Sports

Go to Top