Skip to content

For Dale Hunter to succeed, he needs to do it old school

Nov 28, 2011, 9:14 AM EDT

Dale Hunter Getty Images

Dale Hunter is going to have his hands full in replacing Bruce Boudreau as head coach of the Caps. They’re a team lacking a lot of things, but the Caps’ dedication to playing more defensive hockey that started last season led to the Caps becoming a seemingly joyless mess of a team.

While there’s a lot of pressure on Hunter to get things turned around for the Caps, he could make things a lot easier on himself and the rest of the team by doing something that Boudreau never fell back upon doing in his desperate final days in D.C. Instead of tweaking things defensively and turning the Caps into a pack of grinders, Hunter should just dial it back to a few seasons ago and take the leash off the team and let them attack at will.

The Caps became league and media darlings as an offensive juggernaut with Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin leading the charge and blazing up and down the ice scoring goals in bunches. After all, Nicklas Backstrom is back to being the dynamic playmaker again and giving him the chance to open it up would make the Caps far more dangerous.

If the Caps open things up and Tomas Vokoun gets to fall back on those old instincts from his Florida days, perhaps it awakens his game as well. After all, he put up some of the better numbers in the NHL behind a team that couldn’t score. If you get Ovechkin and Semin to be the 40 or 50-goal scorers they can be, who’s to say it can’t work for the Caps?

The Caps have gotten their dose of coaching to figure out how to play better defensively, but the Caps were dangerous because they could score a ton, not because they could backcheck like the 90’s Devils. Let those guys go free Dale, it could be the instantly smartest move you can make.

Latest Posts
  1. Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’

    Oct 1, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Apparently they won’t hand him Cody Eakin’s two-year, $3.8 million deal.

  2. Video: Flames’ Gaudreau scored another nice one

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Here are some assorted goals for entertainment purposes.

  3. Report: Marc Staal wants at least $6M per year from Rangers

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s reportedly asking for a hefty six or seven-year deal.

  4. NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

    tkachevvlad Getty Images

    Updated with GM Craig MacTavish’s comments.

  5. Sabres expect Kaleta to miss about one month

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs V Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Buffalo was fearing a broken jaw, which would be even worse.

  6. NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT

    islanderslogo

    It looks like the transition from Charles Wang’s ownership will ramp up soon.

  7. Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    What a difference injuries and a nearing regular season makes …

  8. Drouin’s goal is to return for Lightning opener

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    He says the “progress has been really good.”

  9. Risk Factors: Toronto Maple Leafs edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    Randy Carlyle Getty Images

    Will this be another season to forget for Toronto?

  10. Babcock was raving about Smith’s performance versus Leafs

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    Called him “the best defenseman on the ice.”

  11. Caps still haven’t identified their 2C

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brooks Laich Getty Images

    “We’ve got three games left here, so we really need to finalize what we’re going to do.”

  12. Spezza wants to ‘get comfortable’ before talking contract with Stars

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    “I’m not naive, I know as the season goes on it’ll become more of a talking point.”

  13. Jets get good news on eye injuries to Cormier, Galiardi

    Sep 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Patrice Cormier Patrice Cormier

    Looks like both have avoided serious damage.

  14. Speedy recovery: Giroux (lower body) to play vs. Rangers tonight

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    claudegirouxcgetty Getty Images

    Flyers captain will make preseason debut at Wells Fargo.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2336)
  2. R. Johansen (2077)
  3. E. Malkin (2070)
  4. F. Forsberg (1836)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1799)
  1. J. Drouin (1750)
  2. C. Giroux (1718)
  3. G. Nyquist (1680)
  4. T. Krug (1649)
  5. D. Stepan (1648)