Posts tagged: coach

Ovechkin Can’t Shake the Blues

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Even though it was Dale Hunter’s debut as the new coach of the Washington Capitals, all I could think about on the way home was the blinding visibility of Alex Ovechkin’s frustration standing in stark contrast to the chants of “OH-vie! OH-vie!” we heard for the first time this season just last week.

On Frozen Blog posed the question late last night “has Hunter solved the Ovi/breakaway frustration?” Despite a first period assist we got to see him spin around killing the air with his stick at the end of one shift where he couldn’t make anything happen. A little more than five minutes into the third period he ended another shift skating back to the bench screaming an obscenity loud enough to be clearly heard in the 200 level on the south side of the Verizon Center. Then, just in case we couldn’t hear it the first time, he yelled it again. That seems more Great Frustrate than Great 8 to me.

Hopefully, things turn around soon. As a ticket buying fan, I miss the fun. A lot. Of course, pretty much everything gets forgiven if we’re still going to games in June. In the words of Joe Strummer, “On the road to rock ‘n’ roll, there’s a lot of wreakage [sic] in the ravine.”

You all know where to go to read about all the game, what went right and what didn’t. On Frozen Blog, Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic, District Sports Page, and so on. My photos are below and on flickr.

“Yikes and Wow”

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“Yikes and wow.” That was the text my wife sent me when told that Bruce Boudreau had been fired as the Washington Capitals head coach and was being replaced with Dale Hunter.

Something has seemed very wrong with the team for a while and even a fan without a clue like me knew that something had to change.

For whatever faults he may have as a coach, Boudreau is one of the people that got me to pony up for my first season tickets near the end of that amazing run at the end of the 2007-08 season. It was that all offense, all of the time, having fun scoring goals brand of hockey. . Early on in Washington, he said something like, “It’s okay if you give up 4 or 5 goals as long as you score 6 or 7,” didn’t he?

The day I bought those tickets for the 2008-09 season was the day that Alex Ovechkin scored his 65th goal of the season, and I happened to have a ticket for that game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The games back then were so fun to watch because it looked like the team was having fun playing the game. It was infectious. It doesn’t look like it’s been there for a while.

Does anyone remember the last time Ovechkin jumped into the glass after a goal?

Where is this team? The one that celebrated every goal scored like it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened? I miss that team.

It’s not as fun going to games and watching guys with the talent and skill the Capitals players have playing a trap, an umbrella power play that keeps a motionless puck on the perimeter when they’re not losing zone, won’t shoot and can’t score. It’s not as fun, but it’s tolerable if it brings wins. When the losses keep mounting, though, and the losses are coming in bunches with scores of 4-1, 6-3, 7-1 and so on… Losses that are enough to bring a child to tears (even if they took place last year).

But there were those far out fantastic games under Boudreau, too. I’ll miss them. I will miss him. The image I have of him, from his foul mouth in HBO’s “24/7,” to his fascination with ice cream (also from “24/7”), to his unkempt appearance, sense of humor and everything is one that I can easily identify with. I am really going to miss him. I wish him well and all the success possible…except when his future teams are play the Capitals.

So, Dale Hunter, eh? There’s a guy that knows how to unleash some fury. Let’s hope that’s infectious, too.

Some of my photos with Boudreau from this season and last:

This photo is from less than a year ago. Four of the nine guys are no longer here.

These three are from last Friday when the Capitals were getting beaten up by the New York Rangers. They tell some kind of story.


A few more photos of Bruce Boudreau behind the Capitals bench:

Why The Capitals Beat The Leafs

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You can read all the recaps you want at those other blogs (when they’re posted) about the Washington Capitals victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Air Canada Centre.  They’re probably going to talk about Alex Ovehckin’s first hat trick since I don’t know when, Matt Hendricks’ dangle, and a bunch of other things, but none of them are likely to mention the underlying reason it was over before it started (I mean, in addition to the Maple Leafs being the Maple Leafs).

The Capitals had some extra help behind the bench.  Bruce Power to the rescue.

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