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New Caps coach: “I don’t believe in run-and-gun hockey”

Nov 28, 2011, 2:31 PM EDT

Dale Hunter Getty Images

The Washington Capitals won’t be throwing all caution to the wind under new coach Dale Hunter.

“I don’t believe in run-and-gun hockey,” Hunter said today after practice.

According to the Washington Post, the Caps will be focusing on defensive responsibility under their new boss.

So much for a return to the freewheeling style that made the Capitals one of the most popular teams in the NHL.

Washington general manager George McPhee said earlier in the day that defense has been his team’s biggest problem this season.

“We’ve got to be good defensively,” McPhee said. “We haven’t been good defensively. That’s really my big issue right now. We’re just giving up too many goals.”

McPhee is right about that. The Capitals are surrendering 3.27 goals per game. Only Ottawa (3.39) has been worse at keeping the puck out of their net.

  1. govtminion - Nov 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    …and the rush of hope Caps fans felt today just as suddenly is quashed. Oops.

  2. canucks18 - Nov 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Does anyone have the Caps goals against from the days when they used to be good?

  3. stakex - Nov 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Theres no doubt Washington needs to sure up their defense. Its been awful. However that better not mean trying to force Ovechkin and Semin to play more defense. Thats not going to work, and there is a year and a half of proof to back that up.

    Focus on better defense, but let the big guns do their thing.

    • govtminion - Nov 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      Exactly. If they let in four goals a game, who cares as long as they score five?

      It might not be a surefire recipe for success, but it worked better than the crap they’ve been doing the past couple of seasons.

      • cshearing - Nov 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        The problem is: it did not work. It gave them regular season success, but then inevitable playoff failure. If you want to go back to that, great. The other 14 Eastern teams will be happy to see it.

      • govtminion - Nov 28, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        They failed in the playoffs with both styles- at least this one was exciting to watch. I’d rather clean my bathtub tile than watch another game like the one against Buffalo.

  4. beastie35 - Nov 28, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    BB shoul have been tossed a year ago. He hasn’t motivated them in sometime now. As a fan I’m glad to see the change

  5. dowhatifeellike - Nov 28, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    The defense was pretty solid last season. They were playing the right way. Powerful offenses can slump (see the last 10 games) but solid defense generally doesn’t.

    I was uneasy about Vokoun from the start and I think the experiment has proven a failure. With that said, he hasn’t had much help with the Caps’ offense practically giftwrapping ugly turnovers and taking bad penalties every single game.

  6. pdmjr - Nov 28, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    They need to get rid of you know who

    • dowhatifeellike - Nov 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      Semin? Yes.

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