Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bruce Boudreau Bounced (expletive)

By Danny Klau

"Expletive expletive!!!"  - Is what I imagine came out of Bruce's mouth when Capitals GM George McPhee broke the news to him.

Bruce has a propensity for foul language, and it showed in times of frustration, which was a feeling that sumed up Bruce's four years as Capitals head coach. But in order to feel frustrated, one must have performed under expectations.

"I'm sick of this expletive expletive."

The one thing Bruce can take from his tenure is that he raised the expectations of the Capitals' fan base, taking them from a last-place club in the 06-07 season, to four consecutive Southeastern Division titles. He raised the expectations of the club to the point where they got cocky, but top playoff opponents were quick to expose them.

Bruce was able to save his job in the middle of last season. His team was sputtering - they were a streaky bunch throughout his stint - and had fallen out of the southeast division lead.

In a last-ditch effort to save his job, Bruce altered the mindset of his hockey team. A team containing such talented offensive players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin, was going to become defensive-minded. It seemed illogical at first, but the Caps were desperate.  After being thrashed 6-0 by the New York Rangers (who they would later defeat in the first round of the playoffs), Boudreau instituted his new system with resounding results.

The Caps rattled off nine consecutive wins, en route to a 1st place finish in the Southeast, finishing the regular season with the 4th ranked defense.

But Boudreau had raised expectations.  Nothing short of a Stanley Cup finals appearance would do. He'd taken this team to the playoffs before, but never passed round 2, and this year would be no different. An embarrassing 2nd round sweep from division rivals Tampa Bay left many in the nation's capital calling for his head, but McPhee decided to give him one last chance. That chance was short lived. Despite starting the season 7-0, the Capitals now find themselves 12-9-1, 8th in the Eastern Conference (streaky indeed). More of the same is not satisfactory, and Boudreau had to be dismissed, and rightfully so. But Caps fans should tip their hat, and thank Bruce for his time served, as he brought them to the building - Average attendance has risen by over 4,000 since he was hired.

The Capitals have hired former Caps All-Star Dale Hunter, and according to former NHLer Rob Schremp- "...if anyone can make you back check its that guy."

Good luck getting these two clowns to back check:

In other news.... 

The Carolina Hurricanes have also fired their head coach Paul Maurice (again) citing the fact that they were terrible (again).

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