Nov 21, 2011, 3:11 PM EST
The column also served as a defense of coach Bruce Boudreau, who’s facing a barrage of criticism in the wake of his team’s three-game road trip that finished with three losses by a combined score of 14-3.
The truth is, only one person is emotionally missing from the Capitals’ locker room, and everyone inside that cocoon knows who it is. It’s the guy who looks like a shell of his former self, who hasn’t scored in four games and doesn’t even look interested in playing hockey right now. Until Alex Ovechkin finds himself, finds the electrifying player he once was and backpacks this team to the Stanley Cup finals, everyone’s employment with the organization is in jeopardy.
Nobody’s going to disagree that Ovechkin is the key to the Caps’ success. And if he’s just pouting because he’s not happy with Boudreau, then it doesn’t say much about Ovi’s leadership qualities.
That said, Boudreau shouldn’t get let off the hook. Coaches are responsible for motivating and getting the best out of their players, and Boudreau’s not getting that out of Ovechkin. Unless things turn around soon, firing the coach is going to fall under the category of “hey, it couldn’t hurt.”
Even now, what would be the downside of making a change? It turns out Boudreau wasn’t the problem? OK, so has anything really changed? Is Boudreau such a great coach that the Caps would sink even further without him?
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- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 39
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 19
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 37
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 83
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (184)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)