It was a simple question, honest, just meant to see if the coach had anything different planned.

But Jack Capuano instead used it as a sounding board, one not intended for the small Coliseum press conference room after his Islanders lost to the Hurricanes, 3-2 on Saturday night, but rather through the walls and into the dressing room, into the gym, into the cold baths and hot tubs where the players sat, either complacent or stewing, because it’s hard to imagine any mental state in between.

After a short meeting with all the players and staff following the game, Capuano did his regular spiel about his team needing to show more will, to have “all 20 guys going” because “we’re the type of team where everyone has to go.”

With that bit of reoccurring and damning talent evaluation, the coach was asked if he and his staff could do anything to push for that will, to motivate.

“Yeah, we have to prepare them, but we were all players,” he answered, his voice rising in volume and quickening in cadence. “They have to line up, look at the guy next to you, make sure you have his back, I have yours. But you have to compete. This is the best league in the world. It’s embarrassing tomorrow when they see themselves on video, sure, but how are you going to respond?”

It was almost shocking how heated Capuano was, as this was a game where his Islanders, now 14-22-7, had held the play for most of the contest, outshooting the Hurricanes, 40-30, and out-attempting them, 68-63. It was a game into which Capuano’s team came riding their first three-game winning streak of the season, and they had gone 6-3-2 in their past 11.