Nov 28, 2011, 1:26 PM EST
If Alex Ovechkin was playing to get Bruce Boudreau fired, well, mission accomplished. But even if he wasn’t, the narrative going forward will be the same – Ovechkin is out of excuses.
Not happy with the coach? Fine, he’s gone. Now prove to everyone he was the problem, not you.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said firing Boudreau wasn’t about Ovechkin’s relationship with the coach – it was about the whole team not responding to the coach. But there’s only one superstar captain of the Capitals and that’s No. 8. If Ovechkin doesn’t start playing inspired hockey starting tomorrow versus the Blues, he’ll get crucified by the fans and media.
A man lost his job and you’re still loafing around the ice? No wonder the Capitals have never won the Stanley Cup. Their captain doesn’t care.
Fortunately for Ovechkin, Dale Hunter will do things differently than Boudreau. That’s why he was hired. Specifically what he’ll change remains to be seen, but he’d be foolish if he didn’t put Ovechkin in a position to succeed. Hunter coached some offensively-gifted London Knights teams. They were good defensively, too, but Patrick Kane didn’t score 145 points in 2006-07 with a leash around his neck.
Hunter won’t let Ovechkin do whatever he wants out there, but he has to know the Caps need their best player to start enjoying hockey again. There isn’t a player in the NHL that loves scoring goals more than Ovechkin. That’s what motivates him, and it’s up to the coach to exploit it.
After that, it’s up to Ovechkin.
Dec 12, 2013, 5:17 PM EST
Oilers coach wants to use “speed” and “smarts” tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 4:40 PM EST
Oh, and Anders Nilsson sent back to AHL.
Dec 12, 2013, 4:23 PM EST
That didn’t take long.
Dec 12, 2013, 3:53 PM EST
Plus, the Rangers have issues.
Dec 12, 2013, 3:31 PM EST
Coyotes hoping “it’s not long, long-term.”
Dec 12, 2013, 3:06 PM EST
Activated off IR, will face the Flames in Calgary tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 2:57 PM EST
Helped the Flames win their first and only Stanley Cup in 1989.
Dec 12, 2013, 2:50 PM EST
Game goes March 1 (on NBC).
Dec 12, 2013, 2:42 PM EST
News and notes from the blue paint…
Dec 12, 2013, 2:32 PM EST
Will get an MRI tomorrow.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:53 PM EST
“We want black and blue hockey.”
Dec 12, 2013, 1:51 PM EST
He broke in as a 19-year-old during the 2011-12 campaign.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:42 PM EST
Former Oilers draftee had been with AHL Adirondack.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:54 PM EST
Buffalo’s in Ottawa to play the Sens tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:37 PM EST
Dec 12, 2013, 12:15 PM EST
Assistant general manager John Weisbrod also relieved of duties.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:11 PM EST
Montreal’s in town tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:53 AM EST
Club looking to snap a three-game winless streak.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
File under “things that happen when a team is co-owned by fierce competitors.”
Dec 12, 2013, 10:50 AM EST
Bit of a shakeup in Ottawa.
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 38
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 15
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 36
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 81
- 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
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- 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)