Chaos can create opportunity, and that's exactly what a few New York Islanders players are hoping for in the wake of Jack Capuano's firing.
Doug Weight's reign behind the bench started with his first practice on Wednesday, as he preached passion, identity and, wisely, less time spent in the Islanders' own zone. That all sounds great, but better than that, his new role stands to offer a reset of sorts for some players who had struggled in the waning days of the Capuano era.
Who could take this fresh start and run with it? Here are some candidates.
It's pretty clear Strome stands to benefit the most from the coaching change. Say what you want about Strome, but I'm of the believe that once you display a skill at this level, you own it, and Strome proved he can be a playmaker in the NHL with his 50-point campaign two seasons ago. He constantly fell in and out of Capuano's favor, as he was shuffled from line to line and on and off the power play unit. Under Weight, perhaps Strome can see time at his natural center position and ingratiates himself by thriving under the changes Weight plans on implementing.
Another player with an impressive line on his NHL resume (in the form of a 25-goal season), Nelson just can't seem to stay consistent enough for the team's liking. He has such a quick release and wicked wrist shot that there has to be a way to utilize Nelson better. It will eventually be seen how Weight chooses to try to stabilizing the swings in Nelson's game.
If only because he's been so abysmal under Capuano, maybe by simply living through this coaching change, something will click on his head. Granted, Capuano had nothing to do with how epic of a bust Ladd has been in year one of his contract. But at some point, he has to improve. Right?