“The players will probably say [Hunter] is a players coach because they’d be too afraid not to say that.”
– Capitals’ General Manager George McPhee
Can’t wait to see Dale Hunter in his first Hadeed Carpet commercial!!!
First order of business–trade Sasha for Iginla; teach Ovie how to be a leader or strip him of the C.
First order of business—get rid of Schultz, give the C to Laich. BTW, Dale would benefit to read through this blog to get up to speed with the commonly expressed pains and hopefully benefit from the wisdom of the crowd.
Finally, the Caps are going to be a gritty hockey club! Winning the battles in the corners, finishing checks. It’s time for smashmouth hockey. I hope Dale can reverse the Caps curse since he’s been a part of some of those crushing defeats. Who can forget Pierre Turgeon being levelled by Dale after his series-winning goal. It’s time to get fired up!
I’m not convinced this is the answer. If the players “gave up” on BB, who’s to say they won’t do the same on Hunter? I hope I’m wrong, but it just seems that we need an entirely new style/attitude of play, which seems to me can only come from new players. Our D has clearly not been playing up to anyone’s standard of excellence (or even mediocrity, of late), Voukoun and Neuvirth have looked horrendous lately (we want Holtby!), and too many of the forwards are not backchecking like they need to. Maybe Hunter can instill a more gritty approach to this team…or maybe we need to jettison some of the guys who aren’t going to play hard every shift, regardless whether they’re making $6.8m/year.
@ OLDTOWN: BB was still saying the right things, but had lost the team. Clearly if this team can’t get back on track with Dale Hunter, then expect significant trade deadline & offseason player moves — a team can’t really perform wholesale personnel changes in November. And if some players can’t be motivated by Dale Freakin’ Hunter, then they need to be shipped out.
@ MARTIN: Schultz is much better now that he’s no longer in the Caps’ top defensive pairing (and being asked to do too much). He seems a perfectly servicable 5-6 guy to me.
As for the “C” discussions, the Caps should let Ovie take on the Bondra role: wear the “A”, but leave the captaining to others and focus on scoring.
The Caps did what needed to be done to stop the bleeding. I agree with GMGM, the players were no longer responding to BB. Let’s give Hunter a chance to turn things around, and if GMGM is right, that the players are already afraid of Hunter, GOOD! This team has needed a little fear for quite some time, and if that fear translates to positive results on the ice, BETTER!
I hope Dale has some closed door discussions with some of the players about underacheiving and mailing-in efforts. I’m not suggesting that we need to foil-up for every game, but… let’s start playing with a little more passion. Caps are big, fast and skilled.
Suck up – or pack up!
I’d love to see Dale suit up and teach them what gritty play looks like!!
I wish I was a fly on the wall in the dressing room today.
Strip Ovechkin of his captaincy. He’s either loafing or he’s injured. He has been mediocre at best the past two seasons. Same tired old moves on offense and nothing on defense. He’s apparently not able to change; unlike Sidney Crosby, who did improve his game a few years ago. I agree he couldn’t sustain the all-out hitting he did did a few years ago but he has to contribute something. Laich is now their best player.
I hate that move. Hate it hate it hate it. At the end of the season both McPhee and Hunter will be gone, Bruce will be with a new team, continuing his record-setting winning ways. And we will be left to remember the days when our team won presidents’ and conference trophies’ and would always be among the favourites to win it all. The good days came with Bruce, they will leave with him.
@ SCAI, I do agree that Boudreau will coach elsewhere, and do it well. But he’d clearly “lost the room” and was consistently out-coached in the playoffs (either due to lack of strategy, or lack of getting the players to *follow* his strategy).
I really like Bruce, and wish him well… but this change had to happen if the Caps are to salvage this season.
Although I have many fond memories of Dale scoring some clutch goals (’88 against Philly) and being that constant irritant to other teams, I’m not sure this is the right move. He delivered some of the worst cheap shots in league history and, for all the penalties he drew and fights he started, I don’t remember him finishing many.
Here’s hoping we get a Dale Hunter team that scores that game 7 winner and not the one that cross-checked Turgeon from behind several seconds AFTER watching him score a series-clinching goal.
@oldtown You want Holtby, huh? I’m a Bears fan (not a season ticket holder but go to my fair share of games), just from watching him this season, be careful what you wish for. He’s 5-4 with a 2.68 GAA and .891 save pct. Danny (the other Bears goalie) is slightly better at 897. Believe me, keep what you got.
Amen…George is the GD problem…enough people who no longer work there would tell you….
@ Jon “Who can forget Pierre Turgeon being levelled by Dale after his series-winning goal”.
I sure hope you don’t think that was a shining Capitals moment. More like a classic cheap shot by a player that lost perspective. More shameful then shining, I believe.
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