After coaching the New York Islanders to a 17-17-8 record and last place in the Metropolitan Division, Jack Capuano was fired Jan. 17. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins' 23-21-6 record has fueled rumors that coach Claude Julien could be next.
A closer look at each coach's and team's underlying numbers reveals why the two situations are hardly comparable and why the Bruins should keep Julien.
First of all, the Islanders were believed to have a highly competitive roster but have been a profound disappointment, while the Bruins were seen as wild-card contenders at best and have merely been on the wrong side of some bounces.
As for their coaches, Julien has a long track record of success in three leagues and for three NHL teams, including a Jack Adams award in 2008-09 and the Stanley Cup in 2010-11. In contrast, last season was the first time that a Capuano-coached team won a playoff series at any level since he coached the ECHL's Pee Dee Pride in 2000-01.
Finally, when statistically comparing each coach to the field of readily available replacements, Julien stands out in terms of both experience and prior success, while Capuano blends into the pack.
Let's consider each of these points in detail.