VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 10: Head coach Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena March 10, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s Thanksgiving week, so what would a hockey mailbag be without rankings of Thanksgiving side dishes? What does Jack Capuano have to do get fired? And if NHL players were super heroes, who would they be? Let’s pour gravy on this thing and get started.

1. What does Jack Capuano have to do to get fired? How many games in a row does he have to lose for the Islanders to pull the trigger?


Any sane organization would have fired Capuano a long time ago. If you look through the history of early draft picks this team has amassed in the decade-plus under general manager Garth Snow (and it’s crazy he’s still employed), one second-round trip last year is a very poor return on all of it. Look at how many high picks are on the roster now and how many of those players aren’t what they could have been. It’s unfair to pin that all on Capuano, but he and the organization’s development system combine to absorb the bulk of the blame.

The problem for the Islanders if they fire Capuano: who is going to replace him? The Islanders aren’t known for spending money unless they absolutely have to, and if Capuano is making the bare minimum, that means they need to get a new coach willing to take that salary and they will have to pay two coaches for the remaining of the year. It’s like a cost-benefit analysis from hell.

So there’s only one thing for Capuano to do — go full Costanza and get yourself fired.

Here’s my blueprint for Capuano getting himself fired so he can sit on his ass for the rest of the year while getting paid — aka The Dream.

1. Bodysuit Man — When the Islanders take the ice for their next home game, Capuano has to streak across the ice in a nude bodysuit. You don’t want to go dong-out here because you want to get another job in the future and the bodysuit will only hinder that slightly.

2. Deface the banners — Invite Garth to the office under the pretense of lunch to discuss the lineup. When Garth gets there, Capuano needs to be wearing the four Islanders championship banners in the following fashion:

1980: Diaper
1981: Bib
1982: Toga
1983: Placemat for your sloppy joe lunch that is all over it

3. Deface the retired numbers — Spray paint a “6” next to the “9” under Gillies’ name and “SUCKS” under Potvin’s name. Get creative for the other banners. I don’t want to come across as too constrictive. Let your artistic process take over.

4. Attend every Rangers home game — If you have an off-night at home, get tickets to games at Madison Square Garden. Cheer all Rangers goals and wins. Ask to be put on the scoreboard and have it say, “Jack Capuano: Wishes He Was The Rangers Coach.” Repeat as often as necessary.

5. Release a sex tape — Sure, this isn’t controversial or even wrong as long as it is between consenting adults. So how does this help get Capuano fired? That’s right — have sex on the Islanders logo in the locker room. If players get mad if you step on it for a second, imagine the reaction to bodily fluids coating it.

Hope this helps, Jack.

2. Side Bar

1. Stuffing — If Thanksgiving were just stuffing, it would be a holiday worth celebrating. I could eat it for an entire meal.

2. Stuffing — It’s that good. It should take up two spots on your plate.

3. Scalloped potatoes — For the uninitiated, they are just potatoes covered in cheese. I feel like this is really only a Thanksgiving thing I had as a kid, but it was damn great and you should welcome them into your home this week.

4. Mashed potatoes — Just a steady, consistent force on the table.

5. Creamed corn — They’re a vegetable, so you can convince yourself they’re good for you while undoing that top button on your pants and fart quietly enough that you can blame the dog for a fifth time.


6. Rolls — Is this a side? I’m not sure. For some reason, in a restaurant, I’m conditioned to go nuts when the waiter brings warm bread and butter. At Thanksgiving, they are more of an afterthought for me. I can’t explain it.

7. Candied yams — Candied crap.

8. Cranberry sauce — If Jell-O banged strawberry jelly and had a kid it didn’t love.

9. Green bean casserole — This is what you feed yourself when you want to vomit to make room for potatoes.

10. Brussels sprouts — This is America. This ain’t Brussels. You don’t see us forcing french fries onto your table at Brussels Thanksgiving.

3. Gag Reflex

I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. Is this a Thanksgiving thing? No lie: I gagged when I read that tweet. I could smell it. When I was in college, I without question would come home drunk and combine all kinds of garbage onto a plate and heat it up. If you served this to me at 19, I would puke on top of it and you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

4. Jacket Off

They could be. They are very not good. Every year, there is a team like this that is bad but defies their abilities because of either a hot goaltender, magical shooting or both. They are 23rd in score-adjusted Fenwick at 47.8 percent, which is 2013-14 Calgary Flames territory, which is territory that got them into the playoffs (and the second round) that year.

Before we go any further, I’d like to point out a thing I point out every year: At least one bad team makes the playoffs every year. They are 30 teams in the NHL and 16 qualify for the postseason. By definition, that means there will always be one team that is below the midway mark of 15 that gets in. So no matter how you want to judge a team, a bad one gets in. That’s just math.

Being 23rd in possession and third in PDO tells you the Blue Jackets are fluking their way through the first quarter of the season. History tells us one team usually flukes its way through 82 games. Four points separate spots 7 to 13 in the East, so it’s a slopfest down there and anyone can grab those wild-card spots. But just because you get to the playoffs with a mix of bad possession/good PDO, it doesn’t mean your team is good. Ask Patrick Roy and Bob Hartley about it if you see them.

5. Personable People

This would require me to look up who is playing in this year’s Winter Classic and that seems like a lot of work for something I don’t care about.

6. Super Heroes

Superman is Sidney Crosby: Clearly the best, also boring, not sure of the point of any other super heroes when you have this one.

Batman is Ryan Suter: Comes from a (hockey) rich family, trained in his formative years in a mysterious place (Nashville), and is now sorta the old Ben Affleck version.

Iron Man is Carey Price: Would he be so great if he didn’t get to wear all that equipment? Makes you think.


Captain America is Patrick Kane: Seems to be the face of the operation despite a nefarious past. (Captain America covered up the murder of Iron Man’s parents, which makes him garbage, so I won’t hear arguments against this.)

Hawkeye is Patrice Bergeron: Isn’t he always good in the accuracy thing at the All-Star Game? I’m usually asleep by this point.

Black Widow is Jared Boll: All they do is punch stuff and I can’t figure out the point of either being part of the team when they are surrounded by god-like heroes in comparison.

Thor is PK Subban: They are the most fun, both were cast out of their homes for being too much fun and have brothers that aren’t as good as them.

I don’t care about any of the X-Men enough to keep this going. Have a great holiday week if that’s your thing.