As I reported last night, there was speculation that Bruce Boudreau could be fired as the Capitals head coach with Dale Hunter being the replacement. TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie, confirmed the speculation around 6:45 A.M this morning when he tweeted that Bruce Boudreau had been fired with Dale Hunter coming in as the replacement.
In order to become the Capitals new head coach, Hunter had to leave the “London Nights”of the OHL where he was the coach, and co-owner of the team for the past 11 seasons. Hunter was the fastest coach in OHL history to reach the 300 and 400 career victories mark but although he holds those records, Hunter has no coaching experience in the NHL, or even the AHL for that matter but players who have played with him, or against him believe that he will be able to command respect from the team very quickly.
Alexander Ovechkin, who was rumored to be having problems (along with Alex Semin) with Boudreau addressed the rumors on Monday…
“No, I have good relationship with (Boudreau) and it is going to be a good relationship,” Ovechkin said. “Work is work, but we have good relationship right away when he came here.”
New head coach, Dale Hunter talked about the struggles of Alex Ovechkin the last year and a half saying how he’s been playing very well, but there’s always such high expectations for Alex that everyone always expects more…
“Everybody in their career goes through slumps in every sport,” Hunter said about Ovechkin. “Not a slump, he’s been good, he’s been scoring, but we have such a high level of expectation of Alex that we always expect more. There’s always pressure on him, but again, it’s a team game and Alex is one part of it, a big part of it, but definitely we have to play better as a team. It starts with the goaltending to the D. The best players have to get the puck on their sticks.”
Alex Ovechkin also had a few things to say about what he had heard about Hunter and what should be expected from the rest of the Capitals team…
“What they say is (Hunter) is a straight-up coach,” Ovechkin said. “Like if he wants to say something to you, he is going to say it. I think it is good.
With Dale Hunter now behind the bench, the Capitals can expect a more discipline coach who will make them skate/sweat till they drop at practices if they play horribly the game before. They can also expect a coach who will be determined to win the Stanley Cup and who won’t be afraid to say anything to help them get there.
You decide: Was the hiring of Dale Hunter the missing piece of the Capitals?
How high in the standing will the Capitals finish this year?
Is this the sign of a team who is ready to play hard every game and bring the Stanley cup to Washington?
Please leave your answers in the comments section below.
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