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PHT’s Three Duds of the Week: Coach-killing captains

Nov 28, 2011, 5:34 PM EDT

2011 NHL Winter Classic Practice Getty Images

Every Monday, we’ll highlight (lowlight?) three of the NHL’s biggest duds from the past week.

1st Dud: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals captain

Key stat: One coach fired (allegedly).

Even though Caps GM George McPhee said firing Bruce Boudreau wasn’t just about one guy, chances are it was mostly about one guy — Ovechkin. CBC’s Tim Wharnsby pinned Boudreau’s firing entirely on Washington’s captain, claiming the infamous benching against Anaheim was Boudreau’s undoing.

“After that, Ovechkin pouted,” Wharnsby wrote. “He scored only three times in the next 12 games and the Capitals record was a poor 3-7-1. Boudreau had lost his team. He no longer had the support from the Capitals ownership nor general manager George McPhee.”

McPhee had to know his star player couldn’t languish 38th in goalscoring (tied with Travis Moen!) much longer, or continue to score at a 63-point pace. McPhee can say the coaching change wasn’t about Ovechkin…but it was about Ovechkin.

2nd Dud: Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes captain

Key stat: One coach fired (possibly).

If you’re looking for reasons why Paul Maurice is unemployed, look no further than Staal. He’s on pace for jaw-droppingly bad statistics; at this rate he’ll finish with 16 goals and 30 points and somewhere in the neighborhood of a minus-237 rating. (Estimating.)

Maurice tried everything short of Tony Robbins tapes to motivate his captain. He shifted linemates, he changed assignments, he even moved Staal to the wing — but nothing worked. It’s believed Staal’s issues are between the ears as opposed to a physical ailment (speculation is that concussed his brother, Marc, weighs on him still) so in that light, it’s tough to blame Maurice entirely.

But he’s the one that lost his job.

3rd Dud: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks captain

Key stat: One coach fired (impending?)

Next on the coaching hot seat is Anaheim’s Randy Carlyle. With his team at 6-13-4 and just one point up on last-place Columbus, he needs someone to step up and right the ship — which you’d think would be his captain.

Not so, says Jeff Miller of the OC Register.

Now is when the Ducks need Getzlaf to prove that the “C” on his jersey has been earned, not just awarded.

The last time he experienced something comparable to this, no one was leaning on him for direction. Now, each of Getzlaf’s teammates is looking his way – and the image they’ve seen hasn’t always been that of a leader.

It was Getzlaf who Friday lost the puck behind his own net, leading to what became the Blackhawks’ tying goal in the third period.

That was the misplay that prompted him to kill an otherwise innocent hockey stick.

“With Getzy, he’s trying to wear the weight of that captaincy,” Carlyle told the Register. “These are the times when it becomes very, very heavy.”

The burden of losing games and potentially costing coach his job? Yeah, that’s fairly heavy.

  1. whipplesan - Nov 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Getz is an ape and so is Perry. The Ducks are missing the leadership element that Niedermayer (Scott) exemplified so well.

  2. acieu - Nov 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Just release Ovechkin and let him go to waivers if he is so bad

    • polegojim - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:05 AM

      Nobody said Ovechkin was ‘bad’.

      He’s simply a self-satisfied, regular-season wonder who plays when he feels like it, but is fully capable of dogging it. He’s a check-casher.

      Put up some evidence and prove why you ‘d want him on your team during the playoffs? He’s a no show with no heart, spectating as much as he skates.

      THAT is a coach killer.

  3. alefty - Nov 28, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Ship Staal to Philly via trade. Last time we got Brindy and da Stanley Cup!

  4. philsosexy - Nov 28, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Philadelphia would never take on Staal’s huge contract, especially for such an defensively irresponsible player

  5. rainyday56 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Ovie & semen are playing to get bought out by the idiot Leonsis ’cause they both wanna play in Sochi in ’14. Boud’s firing is just collateral damage.

  6. rainyday56 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    Actually, I want to see Ovie put his money where his mouth is, take a couple of years off, finance and train a Soviet style Russian national team for the Sochi Olympics. You know hire a red army drill saergent, recruit a bunch of prospects from the KHL, live like monks for a couple years until thy gel into a soviet style hockey juggernaut with Ovie leading the charge. That would be awesome.

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