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Hunter’s Game 7 advice to Caps: “Have fun with it”

Apr 23, 2012, 5:10 PM EDT

History is not on Washington’s side as it heads into Wednesday’s Game 7 against Boston.

Since 2008, the Caps have played in four Game 7s and lost all but one, with a core group of players — Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Alex Semin and Brooks Laich — on hand for all the disappointment.

So, good thing Dale Hunter’s around.

The Capitals head coach knows what it’s like to step up in a do-or-die situation. He’s responsible for one of the biggest Game 7 goals in Capitals history — an overtime marker against the Flyers in the Patrick Division semifinal, completing Washington’s rally from a 3-1 series deficit.

Given his experience, what kind of wisdom did Hunter pass along to his players?

Chuck Gormely of CSN Washington asked and found out:

“It’s a one-game series,” Hunter said. “Enjoy it and have fun with it. It’s going to be a great game to watch.”

Hunter is not one for well-rehearsed pre-game speeches and he said he’s not planning on giving one Wednesday night.

“They’ll be pumped,” he said. “You don’t have to say much. It’s what you dream as a kid when you grow up, playing a Game 7.”

If you’re wondering, Washington’s last Game 7 victory occurred during the 2009 playoffs in a first-round series against the Rangers.

Tied 1-1 with 4:59 remaining, veteran forward Sergei Fedorov scored his first of the playoffs to push the Caps onto Round 2, where they’d lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

  1. miketoasty - Apr 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Also from Hunter, if you’re going to lose, make sure you take out their star player for the rest of the playoffs.

    • rg3isvictory - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      I hope thats their attitude!!! Beat them or BEAT THEM!

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    • rg3isvictory - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Still love watching that!!!

  3. capsfan19 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Ohhhhhh give it up already!! I think lucic will have a similar legacy as hunter when he gets older….

    • micklethepickle - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:25 PM

      I agree that Lucic will be remembered as the same type of player that Hunter was, but that doesn’t excuse Washington’s management in deciding he was the guy to replace Boudreau. As a die hard Caps fan, Hunter is an embarrassment to the franchise for his style of play. He was the Matt Cooke or Brad Marchand of his era.

      I hope the Caps knock the detestable Bruins out, but it does kind of disappoint me to think that such success after a lackluster season probably ensures Hunter’s continued tenure as head coach. I hope Leonsis cans him in the offseason.

      • rg3isvictory - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

        I don’t know any other players from my youth that weren’t trying to beat you up during the game! Those that tried to avoid playing a physical game usually quit to pursue baseball, basketball and other similar light contact sports! The idea that hockey players shouldn’t play with a devilish streak b/c some players don’t want to get hit is unrealistic. It takes all types in hockey which is why the Bruins won it all! The Caps are a great example of wat happens when you don’t have quality bruisers! If you want to call Hunters coaching style into question, Im there with you. But as a player the Caps could really use a Dale Hunter on the ice! I love Hockey and I pray it doesn’t go the way of the NFL! As it is, the over protection of Goalies is ridiculous and completely unnecessary!

  4. dropthepuckeh - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    What do you watch?? Lucic will be remembered as the same type of player as Head Hunter?? Lucic is a first line winger that is tougher than anyone on your whiny little under achieving team. He likes to score goals, hit, fight when necessary and deal punishment to anyone who takes liberties on a teammate. Dale Hunter is a disgrace to the game. He was when he played and he is now. Do not begin to equate the career of a burgeoning superstar power forward to the legacy of your most memorable player and the NHL’s least respected player. Milan Lucic will drop the gloves with anyone if necessary and does not hide behind a facial shield, a predatory stick or a vicious cheap shots. Happy you get to experience a playoff game 7 but don’t pretend you know what the f*ck you are talking about.

    • micklethepickle - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

      Calm down there, Anxious Annie. Take off your homer glasses for a minute and see what the rest of the world does. Or have you forgotten Ryan Miller already?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM

        Just because Lucic plays close to the line (and crosses it sometimes) doesn’t mean he’s a cheap-shot artist. I’m a Leafs fan but I like Lucic and the way he plays. Definitely the kind of guy I would want on my team and I think most hockey fans would say the same thing.

  5. capsfan19 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Dropthepuck do you know the amount of points hunter had in his career? Even while on a crappy caps team back in the day he was still putting up rediculous numbers. And yea terrible cheap hits i agree but he was a tough cookie. Lucic picks ob dudes half his size. We put john erskine on the ice and wheres lucic? Not getting chippy i’ll tell you that much.
    And the game is different now compared to bck in the day. So the comparative roughness that lucic churns out will have a similar legacy. You can yell, get pissed and talk trash all you want but its going to happen.

  6. capsfan19 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    I also like hunter waay more than boudreau. I think we’re finally beginning to show a muuuch more disciplined and tougher team. I mean if gabby is gonna be yelling at the players, with his mouth full of ice cream, what kind of coach is that?
    We’ve certainly have had an up down season under hunter but the culmination of time and resilience has led us to hopefully discover the team we have on paper

  7. dropthepuckeh - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    Nobody (who actually watches hockey) remembers Hunter for the points he put up. They remember him for his gutless play. Lucic will drop the gloves with any of the heavy weights and has in the past but he is not a goon/ fighter for the Bruins. If you don’t like seeing guys smaller than Lucic get drilled into the boards by him from checking (look it up) than I suggest you go back to your country club or maybe your steeple chase. Its hockey buddy and guys get hit.

    Erskine is a tough guy and I would like him on the Bruins were it not for the fact that he is slower than slow and puts your team at a distinct disadvantage when’s he’s on the ice. The Caps are so worried about getting hit at least Erskine makes them feel more confident for when Seguin scores. “Big Bad Lucic won’t bully me!”

    • rg3isvictory - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      I love Hunter and Lucic’s play! My only knock on Lucic is that he searches out smallers players but that could be more about his size. dropthepuckeh and others would love to have those guys on their team. Anybody that says otherwise is kidding themselves. Every time I hear hockey “fans” whine about fighting and tuff guys I imagine most are little, scrawny, casual fans that never played and/ or the type of person that wouldn’t know what it’s like to be a Type A personality to save their lives. You know, the guy who scabbles for his phone when his house is being broken into instead of grabbing his gun. The guy that feels helpless and waits for help instead of taking the bull by the horns. The little guys(p*ssies) should leave hockey alone and stick to things like skinny jeans, posing at coffee shops and dreaming while the men go get it!!!

      Mean while I’ve taken the day off today so that I could spend time with my 8 month old daughter. Could explain the testosterone filled comment or it could be the truth.

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