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Do the Capitals need to make a change?

Nov 19, 2011, 10:25 PM EDT

Karl Alzner AP

To some, the Washington Capitals’ embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs is a cause for panic or at least serious confusion. It’s almost as if the hockey world forgot about the dreadful losing streak that coincided with the taping of HBO’s 24/7 series in 2010-11, although the Capitals seem to be under a harsher spotlight with each passing season.

So the big question is: should GM George McPhee pull the trigger on some sort of “big decision” before the Capitals take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday? Let’s take a look at some ideas.

Fire the coach: Should they give bellicose Bruce Boudreau the boot? My answer is an emphatic “No.” For every decision that gets second-guessed, the team keeps winning the Southeast Division and his bold moves have worked out fairly well in the big picture. (Katie Carrera reports that McPhee said no comment when asked for a vote of confidence regarding Boudreau’s job security … take that whichever way you’d like.)

Plead with Mike Green to come back soon: For all the criticism that Green receives, the Capitals clearly miss him as an offensive catalyst. The team is now 2-7-1 with Green out of the lineup in 2011-12.

Lean on Neuvirth: Tomas Vokoun‘s production is a bit down compared to his high-end individual numbers, but Michal Neuvirth has a 3.46 GAA and .877 save percentage in seven games played this season. So another big “No.”

Make a trade: Now this is an interesting idea, but McPhee shouldn’t make a trade for the sake of shaking things up. The Capitals have a ton of guys in the last year of their deals including Green, Vokoun, Dennis Wideman, Mike Knuble and … Alexander Semin. If McPhee could somehow land a good second line center or fill another need, then maybe he should pull the trigger.

Overall, I think it pays to be patient. If a change is necessary, then I’d recommend a mid-level trade, though.

  1. rainyday56 - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Why show a picture of Karl Alzner for this article? Is it because he was +1 in that debacle last night and is the only one on that team that is marketable for a trade right now? Probably.

    • dipthatchip - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      if Karl Alzner is traded, I’m switching teams. Dude can honestly do no wrong and gets no respect

  2. danphipps01 - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:39 AM


    Seriously, they dangled a great bloody “Come score on us” sign over their net just to taunt them and the Capitals STILL couldn’t get more than one goal. What the hell?

  3. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I think they would be dumb not to make a trade (Wash) move one of the bid names, Semin, Backstrom, Green, maybe even Ovi. I don’t think there would ever be a market for ovechkin seeing as how much it would take to trade for him and his current contract but somethings gotta give. It’s not time to panic but it is time to be worried. Not a fan of Wash but I do enjoy watching them play.

  4. gopokes3281 - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Trade Backstrom?? You’re crazy. He is the best player on the team…

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      I’m not saying he isn’t or they should… just something has to give.

      • gopokes3281 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:55 AM

        Understandable. I agree that we should be a little worried. We have a ton of potential and showed it in the first 7, but it seems like these guys aren’t being motivated Boudreau. I hate it when teams fire coaches mid-season because of the adjustment period, but if we don’t get to the finals with this talent, he needs to go. It would also be nice to have a Top 6 forward that is a strong leader. Nothing against Ovi but his numbers dropped when he got the “C”. You can’t take the captaincy from a superstar player without causing internal drama or a media explosion. If you could though, I would suggest giving it to Brooks.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2169)
  2. P. Kessel (1345)
  3. M. Richards (1311)
  4. N. Backstrom (1225)
  5. M. Giordano (1028)