Fire Bruce Boudreau

Decisions, decisions (Screen-grab via @eahoff)

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Is that title too much?

The Capitals are likely to fall short in yet another run for the Stanley Cup. Almost forty years into the team’s history and in a city starved of championships, the stakes are as high as the desperation. The Capitals have started the last few seasons not with aspirations for the Cup– so much as expectations. And now that those expectations are (probably) going to be snuffed out, the fans are out for blood.

Bruce Boudreau’s blood.

The topic on the table is the continued employment of Bruce Boudreau as head coach of the Washington Capitals. Do you want to fire him? Well first, let’s be clear: who exactly are you talking about?

  • the Bruce Boudreau who has a woeful 17-18 (.486) record in the playoffs? [UPDATE: now it's 17-19 (.472)]
  • the Bruce Boudreau who has won two of six playoff series?
  • the Bruce Boudreau whose team won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2010 only to be beaten by the 8th seed Canadiens?

Or maybe you mean this guy:

  • the Bruce Boudreau who won the 2008 Jack Adams Award.
  • the Bruce Boudreau with the highest winning percentage among active coaches.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who took a faltering team mid-season and led them to their first division title in seven years.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who in 2010 led the most dominant offensive team in the NHL since the lockout.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who reinvented his team as a defensively responsible unit when the offense dried up.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who wrote a book about hockey that we didn’t read.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who turned Mike Green from 10-12-22 with a minus-26 over 113 games to 36-62-98 with a plus-38 in 103 games.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who led the Caps to their franchise-record 14-game winning streak.
  • the Bruce Boudreau who recovered from a 6-0 rout on February 25th to finish the season with a 16-3-1 record.

The age of Jaromir Jagr is over. Monumentally bad staffing decisions are a thing of the past. And while losses still sting, we are not idiots. And these are not the Washington Redskins.

But we need some straight talk on the post-season. The playoffs are a problem and ultimately the responsibility for that falls on Bruce Boudreau and his boss, George McPhee. So what’s going wrong?

Well, the regular season is not an 82-game preseason. October to March are not a preamble. The regular season is where habits are formed– habits that echo through the postseason. For Tampa Bay that means a focused system, strictly executed with tons of speed. The Lightning players follow orders like soldiers.

The Capitals don’t have soldiers. Not enough anyway. Instead they have divas: players who only care when they have to and do so only on their own terms. The regular season saw players sleepwalking through games, perhaps even literally. We saw some players vacillate  between disinterest and self-interest. We saw players ditching Dean Evason’s and Bob Woods’ systems at will. Those bad habits became a pattern, and those swift postseasons became reckonings. Case in point: Alex Ovechkin’s suicide run into the Tampa Bay Lightning’s trap when the dump-in hard-around was the right and authorized move.

Bruce Boudreau isn’t the problem in the organization, but maybe he knows what that problem is now. It’s not tactics or strategy, it’s attitude.

No, Bruce Boudreau isn’t the problem in the organization. He’s just the guy who’s gotta solve it.

By Peter Hassett and Ian Oland

[NOTE: The title of this post is inflammatory, obnoxious, and not to be taken seriously. Which is odd 'cause that's what we think of the people who say it without irony.]

  • bill

    the other question is can he solve it? On that I have my doubts. The powerplay is a perfect example. It really hasn’t worked for over 1 year now and yet there are no changes. It’s almost like Bruce is afraid of Ovechkin and won’t take him off the point or shorten his shift lengths.

  • deann

    This was the game to show you believe in your coach, you want to keep him around, and you want to make him proud and turn a series around. Didn’t see that tonight.

  • FOI

    Bruce is an experienced coach and no one doubts that, but at a certain point you have to realize that if a few of his players are divas (which I agree with) than its his job as the coach to do something about it.

  • Pat

    I agree. It’s not Bruce’s fault. He preaches a system, and a few players conform, while others seem to refuse. The only thing that we could blame bruce for, is his inability to get his players to conform to his system.

    I say trade Backstrom to Detroit for Pavel Datsyuk. (half joking)

    Now excuse me while i cry myself to sleep…..

  • Greg

    I’m going to try and be a reasonable fan here, but I completely disagree with the defense of Bruce Boudreau here. At some point, we have to realize that from a tactical perspective, he simply doesn’t have what it takes to win against other elite playoff teams. He is OK about making adjustments from game to game, but he seems to have massive struggles adapting to adjustments in-games. A textbook example tonight was the Caps strategy to dump the puck right at Roloson, a strategy which the Lightning quickly adapted to and which Boudreau simply didn’t have another adjustment for.

    The guy knows how to win in the regular season, but maybe it is time to accept that maybe the guy lacks the ability to lead a winning hockey team in the postseason. Its not like we’ve got a tremendously small sample size either, it is becoming pretty clear that something is fundamentally wrong with the way that this team has been built and maybe that starts with getting a fresh start at head coach.

  • Roy

    I agree that the main problem is attitude, it’s motivation! The willingness to get to a puck or get back and backcheck. It wasn’t there last night. If the coach can’t motivate his players, then perhaps it is time to move on eventhough I would find that a harsh decision.

  • Avtopilot

    That title is not too much. It’s too early.

    BB will go if Caps are not able to dig out of this hole. Caps are playing hard, but are outplayed tactically -sorry, BB it’s mostly your fault.
    all the too many men calls and bad line changes don’t help either.

    Now the only thing left is honor.
    Go there and die like men.

    just curious if it will happen now:
    play PP with 2D (no Ovi at the point), and put MoJo to the first line.
    Ovi-MoJo-Knubble
    Semin-Arnott-Fehr
    Chimer-Backs-Laich
    Hendrics-Gordon-Bradley

  • http://twitter.com/capsrock Dave C.

    Nobody deserves nor should be fired if we are eliminated tomorrow or next week. Doesn’t matter. Has everyone forgot how well we did in Round 1? It’s so easy to remember the bad things that happen and forget the good things. Not for me though. TL is the best owner in professional sports; he knows this isn’t BB’s fault. We’re a young team learning from our mistakes. Did we not learn from Round 1 last year vs MTL? Did we not make up for it? We’re learning. We’re growing. Us die hard fans might (will) lose it if we are gone tomorrow or Saturday or whenever but BB is safe. How do I know this? Ted Leonsis didn’t get to where he is today by making stupid decisions. Sure, lines will change, hell, lots will change. But our coach? No way. GO CAPS!

  • http://twitter.com/capsrock Dave C.

    IMO, when you’ve got such amazing players out there on the ice during the playoffs and dont’ play like “we’re used to,” BB can only take a minute amount of the blame, if any. All our players shoot the puck toward the net and either score or don’t. That’s hockey. There’s a reason coach’s don’t have a +/- rating, etc; bc they don’t do the actual work the players do. They decide who goes on the ice at any given time. Scoring and blocking stops is not something coaches control. BB will not be fired.

  • http://twitter.com/capsrock Dave C.

    If we’d lost in the first round, or even won in the first round 4-3, then maybe I’d think “yeah ok maybe they will can BB” – but we didn’t. We’re growing. We’re getting better. It sucks more than anything right now but believe me when I say “success cannot come without failure; as long as you learn from it.” It’s still not BTW. We’ll know 18 hours from now. Don’t rush to judgement just yet. Keep the faith.

  • K4

    I’m too depressed to complain. Love the post RMNB.

  • kevin

    Good coaches are leaders. Good leaders are soaked in confidence. Not cocky confidence, but self-assured confidence. The kind of confidence that comes from being prepared. The kind of confidence that comes from having sincere conviction in your methods and your ability to pass those on to the people you lead. The kind of confidence that Regan would be proud of as it trickles down to those around you.
    Go re-watch the locker room scenes from 24/7. Tivo the bench boss taking in a huge, nervous breath and letting it out with puffed out cheeks, eyes wide after the 4th Tampa goal. Run over to the Caps web site and watch a head coach spout an endless stream of excuses, coulda’s, woulda’s and shoulda’s during a press conference that should have consisted of “game 4. tomorrow. that’s all.”

    Does this man strike you as a leader?

  • Melissa

    I have to admit I am struggling with this. As I was playing this question in my mind last nite, I went through a variation of your contrasting lists in my head. And I can’t figureit out. It’s also the same players who did win the first seed (aka Caps kiss of death). The poor coaching, one could argue, was just as consistent. The thing that struck me in 24/7, and we saw what was shown, not all that happened, is that we did not see a lot of strategy coming from BB. It was never you need to do xyz in his tirades or speeches. do you honestly think Ovi is refusing to play a different position on the pp? Was it Backstrom who put himself out on the ice in those final minutes last nite–he was the last player who earned that role.

  • Avtopilot

    BTW,

    “Capitals are jinxed by Ian”
    http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2011/04/25/alex-reut-washington-capitals-stanley-cup-champions-paintings-jinx/

    Is that title too much? :-)
    if not the own goals, Caps could lead this series.

    Ian, please, do some antijinx magic like it was during the 8-game losing streak.

  • Thag

    The Rangers series was a lot closer than it should have been, and could have easily gone the other way. Now that they are playing a real contender, BB’s shortcomings are showing big-time.

    Those SE division banners sure are pretty, though.

    I expect him to be here next year. I wanted him fired two years ago.

  • Jim

    It’s BB’s responsibility to get players to adhere to a system and to bench, scratch or trade players that won’t. It’s BB’s responsibility to make adjustments to counter the teams they are playing, and while he has done that (like taking Ovi off the point on the PP last night) it seems it always takes far too long.

  • Chris S.

    I’ve thought this team needed a taskmaster coach to come in and clean up the country club mentality. I know people may not like the decision, but I think Ken Hitchcock would be perfect for this team as he was with Dallas in the late 90′s.

    We’ve seen the evolution from Hanlon as the coach to guide a young team, Boudreau into turning the team into a winner in the regular season, now we need someone to kick them in the ass.

  • potatoman

    Good post!
    The caps were atrocious before BB, and the people who think he should be fired don’t remember what it was like before him. It was bad!

  • Dark Stranger

    Boudreau is probably one of those people who would make a better general than platoon leader, to use an Army analogy. He can come up with great systems. Hence, with a great system, he can win over the long term. But short term adjustments are another story.

    If it isn’t time to fire Boudreau, maybe it’s time to trade some of the members of our core. Admittedly, we couldn’t get equal value but possibly find a trading partner who’s in a similar boat (underachieving) and make a block buster trade.

  • Alfred

    Theres a bunch of problems with the Caps!Heres a quick list:

    1) BB undisiplined coaching. Bad line changes, penalties, & too many men on ice.
    2) Backstorm and Semin disappear at times. Both players dont give it their all not enough passion.
    3) Green isnt a D-man stop using him as one. he cant play D. All our D-men except carlson and alzner are bunch of scrubs.
    4) Laich cant crash the net. Hes a pretty boy whose afraid to get in the trenches!

    Bottom line we lack the quickness and intensity to get to the loose pucks and work hard to create opportunities!!

  • FedFed

    Well, I think I can say it:
    That’s Boudreau who couldn’t motivate team and make them want it as bad as possible.
    Some players – some star players – are doing an amazing job (e.g. Ovi). Nut team just doesn’t follow him (or Knuble). And among possible candidates, I think Dale Hunter is the best one.

  • Marc

    If the Capitals lose this series, I *would* fire Bruce. And not because he’s a “bad” coach.

    He was the right coach to mold a young team into a serious contender. He’s just (apparently) the wrong coach to take an established, talented team deep into June.

  • Ryan

    i don’t think firing Boudreau will solve all of our problems, nor do I think that eh should be fired. I do however think that he is too permissive with our stars when it comes to effort and team play. For example have you ever seen Semin make a Hendricks-esque full-tilt dash for the puck (or anything at all for that matter)? I think Bruce needs to lay down the law, if that means benching someone (Like when Oshie stepped out of line in St. Louis), so be it. The young guns may be the marketing vehicle of the Washington Capitals, but it’s Bruce’s job to make them perform on the ice, not just sell jerseys to fangirls. You’ve got to get mad Bruce, we sure are.

  • FOI

    I’m backtracking on my old position. Bruce is a great coach and I believe he has what it takes to pull out a win today!

  • FedFed

    *But lol

  • Cmac

    I understand your frustration with BB, I have it too. But its a little premature to be posting this. As unlikely as a comeback is, the series is not over. At least wait until the season is over.

  • Bucky Katt

    “Bruce Boudreau isn’t the problem in the organization, but maybe he knows what that problem is now. It’s not tactics or strategy, it’s attitude.”

    On the contrary…for reasons stated Boudreau IS part of the problem.
    Greg, Jim and Kevin’s points were absolutely correct. The same problems that were evident last year and during this years regular season are still apparent. I was hoping he would be gone in December….well a Tampa sweep may well solve that problem.

  • Peter Hassett

    Alright, I’ll chime in under my own name.

    1. I don’t think the series is over. The Caps have put 4 wins together many times over the season. I think they can do it again, starting tonight. This post just states that the odds are way against us.
    2. If you want to replace Boudreau, who do you want to replace him with? The point made pretty clear in our argument up there is that there aren’t any coaches objectively better than BB.
    3. Sit a player? I would be surprised if that DOESN’T happen tonight– either 19, 28, or both.

    Keep in mind, everyone: we’re here ’cause we care. We have that in common, so please be kind.

    Thanks!

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  • BigDavid

    I hate making this analogy but Bruce:NHL :: Norv Turner:NFL

    -Playoffs are different and BB does not see to get it.

    -Stupid line changes cost us multiple games

    -Putting Ovi in the box yesterday when they were going on a 4 on 4 for 1:30 still

    -Putting Ovi on the point, not only on PP, but also at the end of the game out of desperation. Even on 24/7 the Penguins made a comment about how we are alright as long as Ovi is still on the point.

    -Allowing (yes…allowing) star players not to show up at optional practices

    -Changing the game plan as soon as they went up by one point yesterday instead of attacking the net.

    Bruce may have a lot of pressure and he may believe the curse more then the fans do. He just does not make the changes that need to happen. Winning the division may be more as to our division players as of late and GMGM getting us enough talent to do well.

    All the regular season line shifting and playing around by Bruce had me worried. The team looks like it is not in snych. Looks like no one knows how to play along side their team mates.

    We need a change. We need someone to motivate the players. Maybe they all like BB, but maybe they also do not respect/fear the man as their coach…

  • Hackeynut

    Yeah, I gotta say, I wish the post matched up with the headline.

    It is time to fire Bruce. If only because you can only change so many things about this team.

    I’m actually somewhat shocked at the interwebs being overly defensive of him today. Look at this comment above: “IMO, when you’ve got such amazing players out there on the ice during the playoffs and dont’ play like “we’re used to,” BB can only take a minute amount of the blame, if any. All our players shoot the puck toward the net and either score or don’t. That’s hockey. There’s a reason coach’s don’t have a +/- rating, etc; bc they don’t do the actual work the players do. They decide who goes on the ice at any given time. Scoring and blocking stops is not something coaches control.”

    It’s almost an argument that the coach doesn’t matter at all. To an extent, I understand the idea that BB can’t control whether there is a bad bounce or someone makes a terrible play (or someone from TB makes a superhuman one). BB can’t control Neuvy giving up bad goals (nor should he be praised for preaching defense when Neuvy makes an obscene save).

    But at some point, someone has to be responsible. This is now the 4th year we’ve been in the playoffs. Assuming that the Caps don’t rip off 4 in a row, that means they are 2-4 in the playoffs. Both series wins coming against really terrible NY Rangers teams. They’ve brought in no fewer than a dozen guys that were going to be “the difference”, but they continue to tread water.

    It hasn’t been a speed bump, or a lost year, those happen. Their seeding the last 4 years has been 3, 2, 1, 1. Meanwhile, they’ve lost to a 6, 4, 8 and now most likely a 5. It isn’t like they are running to the conference finals and losing close battles. They are losing to teams that shouldn’t beat them (with the exception of 2009). They aren’t improving as one person argued above. They’ve been knocked out twice in the first and twice in the second. This one in particular stands to be incredibly humiliating on top of it.

    When I heard Bruce complaining last night that it was the linesman that made the call and not the ref and that he thought the puck was in the net before the penalty was called, my ass clinched up so tight that I made 1.4 million dollars worth of diamonds. His other laughable point that the 6th man wasn’t really involved in the play was flabberghasting. He was actually complaining about the refs making a proper call.

    And that sort of sums up the whole team. There is no accountability and no leadership. The coach is paid put players in the right position to succeed and motivate them to do so. Bruce just doesn’t. They play sloppy and slow when it matters the most. They are self satisfied. They say the right things, but when they play, its just the same old crap.

    Good coaches torture divas. Sergei Fedorov and Brenden Shanahan weren’t always the respected leaders they became. In a lot of ways Feds was Semin. A talented Russian that could drive you nuts. Scotty Bowman whipped them both into complete players. Same with Steve Yzerman who was converted from a pure scorer into a complete player, a respected Captain, a Selke winner and kissed the cup 3 times for his efforts.

    The Caps can’t have Scotty, but they have to find someone to hone this talent. Everytime I’ve watched Backstrom, Green and Semin in this series, part of me dies.

    So yes, it’s time to fire Bruce, no matter how much you thought you were being sarcastic and fecious.

  • sean

    I was on the fence about BB until I saw his postgame last night. That was not a coach that can win a Stanley Cup that was talking. You get wins by motivating your players and getting them to play better, not making excuses for them and yourself. If a Dale Hunter or Craig MacTavish type was coaching our team Backstrom would have been scratched for Hendricks or at least not played as much. No Chemistry due to 3 years of line juggling which also leads to too many men on the ice penalties. No, it’s not all BB’s fault, but he is making Guy Boucher look like a genius.
    To whoever thinks Knubs is washed up, he scored 2 goals last night(1 lost due to TMOI).

  • Hackeynut

    Sean also brings up a point. Matt Hendricks was the single bright spot for about 2 months this year because he workers his ass off every shift. And now he is a healthy scratch? Why exactly? Because Boyd Gorder has been leaving a trail of destruction behind him?

  • Hackeynut

    It is always an excuse for the Caps. 2008 it was their first playoffs, they weren’t ready for it. 2009 they lost to the Cup champs. 2010 they ran into a hot goalie. What is the excuse this year? AT some point excuses mean jack.

    Ron Wilson got launched after his 4th straight failure to reach the cup finals with SJ. What exactly is different here?

  • Peter Hassett

    Matt Hendricks hasn’t been producing in the last few months, and the checking line is still nearly perfect without him.

  • Moses Guthrie

    I think the more appropriate coaching analogy is Brian Murray. He took a terrible Caps team and made them good. And then made them really good. And every spring the team disappointed. He was never going to be the guy that got them over the playoff hump. So they fired him. And it was the right call in spite of the fact that they had never made the playoffs before he arrived or contended for the Cup until 10 years later. Boudreau too will never get the Caps over the playoff hump. He was the perfect guy to take a bunch of young players and make them into contenders, but he has looked overmatched in every playoff series, including the ones that the Caps have won. That should have been clear last year. It’s blatantly obvious now. His team doesn’t adjust, and that seems like a critical responsibility of the coach. To play terrible, terrible hockey in three consecutive 3rd periods is unacceptable. To have not learned the lesson from game 3 of the Rangers series when they scored on back to back shifts is unacceptable. To have the most talent-laden power play unit in the league where nobody moves – EVER – is unacceptable. (And let’s not even mention the too many men on the ice penalty on the freakin’ power play).

    Boudreau isn’t a bad coach. He isn’t a dumb coach. But he isn’t going to lead this team to a Stanley Cup. So he should leave.

  • Bethany

    Excellent article.

  • Hackeynut

    Agreed Moses. I think Bruce is a great coach for a lower level team looking to get up to speed and I think he would be a perfect NHL assistant. But as the head of a Cup contender? Nope, thats an elite group he’s not in.

  • Gabe

    Firing BB would be a huge mistake. What the hell is going on with Backstrom? Semin? I’m sick of paying to watch them be lazy on the ice.

    I’m just ready for a fresh start next season.

    Good post, RMNB.

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  • PainKiller

    Another question to ask is, “Who would be his replacement?” I’d like to learn what the history of other successful coaches has been w/ respect to how long it took to win The Cup. Anyone care to do that research, because I don’t have the time.

  • Michelle

    Great post. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding attitude.
    The thing is, if Boudreau can’t get these guys to change their attitudes, can’t motivate them enough to come out every game playing 100%, then something’s wrong. Boudreau’s been great for this team. Can’t emphasize that enough. But these Caps players need more discipline, more focus. Perhaps BB’s too easy going. I don’t know. Or maybe he’s just bottomed out, hit his plateau. There’s not a ton more he can do for this team. It’s not his fault. Coach’s don’t stick with one team forever (except Lindy Ruff…). Maybe it’s time for a different approach to take this team further.

  • Peter Hassett

    PainKiller,

    I doubt there’s anyone who won faster than Bylsma. Took over in April, won the Cup in June.

  • Ang

    I’ve been watching the Caps for about 25 years now and what he’s done with this team is good, real good.

    Being committed to winning should be something that they want more than air. Being committed to going out and making the sacrifices that it takes to get their JOB done should be foremost in their make up. This is their JOB, it’s what they get paid to do. I hold the players far, far more responsible than the coach.

    At work your boss tells you your job, what you need to do in order to keep your job, what you need to do in order to be promoted and what’s going to happen if you don’t do your job. If you excel or fail at that job, let’s be realistic that falls squarely upon your shoulders, not on your boss. You are responsible for your actions, just like these players are responsible for theirs. People need to stop passing off bad, lazy and uninspired play on BB and look to the guys on the ice. They are the ones not getting their jobs done!

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja

    The daughter (who plays on a nationally ranked U16 team and has stood up for BB all year), says that he is too soft on the stars. They need to sit out a shift or a game. She is appalled that there is ever an “optional” skate for a team that is losing. And says things like, “WTF?” in a very loud voice. She is also appalled at the bad decisions she sees being made on the ice by these players who should know better … and tells us in no uncertain terms what would happen to them if her coach (who was an Olympic coach) were running that team. It ain’t purty …

    I completely agree that Hendricks needs to be brought back. His production may have been down, but his energy and work ethic are beyond reproach. That cannot be said about anyone else except for perhaps Neuvy and MoJo and occasionally Knuble. I don’t agree that Ovechkin’s work ethic has been high, I think he’s been trying to carry the team by himself again. That’s not smart hockey … it’s just desperate. We’re back where we were in December. So I’m going to say it … WTF?

    I don’t know that BB should be fired, but I don’t think he can continue on without some serious mentoring and changing either. He needs to retool himself over the summer and become a disciplinarian. He needs some help if he’s going to get this team deep into a playoff run. Because right now it would appear that he does not have the chops.

  • http://www.threewireguy.wordpress.com BigNed

    Let’s take a look at this statement:

    “Bruce Boudreau isn’t the problem in the organization, but maybe he knows what that problem is now. It’s not tactics or strategy, it’s attitude.

    No, Bruce Boudreau isn’t the problem in the organization. He’s just the guy who’s gotta solve it.”

    BB is the head coach. In my mind that means his *primary* responsibilities are tactics, strategy, and skill development. The habits he should be instilling are where to go on the PP or PK, how to shoot not-at-the-goalie’s-chest, how to make a line change, stay between the puck and the goal. He should be developing an overall strategy of play and communicating to GMGM what players he needs in order to carry out that strategy. Motivation to practice hard and in-game discipline when he sees players slacking are, I think, under his purview but overall attitude? I disagree.

    There are 5 other people in the organization who are, to me, responsible for player attitude. Number one on the list is Ted Leonsis. These players are his employees. They represent his organization, affect his reputation, and draw or repel fans. This town will go crazy for a team or player because of their effort and energy (see Halpern, Jeff) but poor effort *will* effect the bottom line for the Caps, especially if it keeps them from winning (see Jagr, Jaromir). Ted needs to remember that he is The Boss, not just The Owner. If he had an employee making the kind of money the Caps players do in one of his other business ventures who was “sleepwalking” through their job, would he just let it slide? I doubt it. He is responsible for making sure that he is getting his money’s worth out of his employees.

    Two of the remaining four wear an ‘A’ on their sweater, one wears a ‘C’. Ovi is playing his heart out, sure, but I don’t see him getting in guys’ ears when they don’t do likewise. He grabbed a nasty goal last night, maybe he needs to be grabbing sweaters and letting some spit fly. When the guy calling people out is the new guy with no letter on his sweater (ASCID) then there is something missing in terms of locker room leadership.

    The fifth guy responsible for player attitude is GMGM. He’s the one who chooses between the guy with the diva personality or the bulldog mentality. I think he’s done pretty well, but now that this pattern of lazy or sloppy play and insubordination are becoming a pattern, maybe he should look at the kind of teams that won three out of five Calder Cups (I don’t care that it’s the AHL, winning is winning). Keeping up with SHOE this season do you know what I can’t remember reading? “Bears’ effort was poor.” They’ve sent a good bit of talent up to the Caps this season, especially with several call ups due to injury, so I’m not surprised they didn’t get the threepeat, but they never stopped putting it all out on the ice every night. As GMGM looks for trades and draft picks and whose contract to extend, he needs to look past their regular season numbers, past their talent level, and look at their work ethic. Sports teams that work hard, win even with a lot of no-name talent (see Lightning, Tampa Bay or the ’91 Skins – holy crap that was 20 years ago). Teams with lots of talent and no effort, lose (see Cowboys, Dallas or the current Redskins). GMGM needs to get the players who will maximize their talent, not just the guys with the highest ceiling.

    I also think it is interesting to note that the guys who are struggling in the post season (Semin & Backstrom in particular) are guys who played their junior hockey abroad, with limited playoff success, while Neuvy, Carlson, Alzner (mostly), and MJ90 are all stepping it up in the post season. What I think we are seeing is the difference between guys who think they can win and guys who know they can win – if they put in the effort. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the other Hershey call-ups get a chance to play tonight to see how their attitude can affect the team.

  • JR

    You had me at Fire. Then you backtracked.

    Boudreau is getting too much credit for what the organization has accomplished. You take a fun team and turn it into a complete bore, with the same result? This man has no clue what he’s doing, he has reversed polarity and turns out that wasn’t really the issue.

  • 28ISGREAT

    Not much I can add other than to say I totally agree with Kevin, Marc and Hackeynut.

    However, I would add that I think the appropriate time to be having such discussions would be tomorrow.

    For now, we still have approx. 12 hours to go in this season. I’m hoping – no, BEGGING, that clock gets extended.

    And if, by some miracle. this series gets extended to a Game 7 – win or lose that game, I’d happily reconsider whether or not 2012 includes BB.

  • Robert Patton

    How dare any fan call for BB’s head! If by some miracle the Caps manage to take this series and even go on forth to bring the Cup to D.C., I will expect, no, DEMAND that all of those who now call for his head to call for it then! If you won’t have the balls or guts to make such a notion if the Cup is won this year, you have NO place to do so now.

  • Hackeynut

    Robert,

    Silliness. How dare we? Sigh. For the record, I thought he should have gotten the boot last summer and again in Dec.

    But if Boudreau drags this to 7 by some miracle and loses, I’m still calling for his head. If he someone brings them back from the brink and wins the Cup, you are correct, I won’t call for his head. I will also give you money from my lotto winnings and let you dine with my unicorns. Afterwards we can all sprinkle pixie dust on each other and fly to the moon.

    You post doesn’t really make sense. Why would people call for his head after a huge success? We are calling for his head after a huge and ongoing failure. One that will probably be done tonight or Saturday.

    If you want to hang on to hope that somehow the caps are going to whip off 4 in a row and then another 8, go for it. I’m living in reality where this series is finished for all intents and purposes.

  • http://capslove.wordpress.com Dazey2

    I’m glad this post was written. And obviously so do a lot of others, as it is shown through the number of comments in response.

    On one hand, I love Bruce and think he’s done wonders for this team. And there are so many of the Caps who have won with him back with the Bears. But maybe he’s just a great minor league coach, and he wasn’t cut out for the major league?

    I don’t think that’s the case, however. I think Bruce should stay because at least the Caps have made to the playoffs for so many consecutive years since he took charge. Sure, just making it to the playoffs isn’t enough, obviously, but it’s sure better than how things looked before Bruce was in D.C.

    But also, is there even a better guy out there to coach our Caps? I’m not a coaching expert, but I have a feeling that there aren’t many people out there to fill this job.

    I also think that firing Bruce would look badly for the Caps organization. It would show that perhaps our organization is too unsure of itself. We sure don’t want to give off that impression. Besides, how many coaches have we had in the last decade? (Butch Cassidy, Glen Hanlon, and now Bruce Boudreau.) It seems like that number is a little high.

  • Lianne

    Fire Backstrom.

  • Yuk

    I think that this article a little premature. Caps still playing and I almost 100% sure that they will win tonight. If not, at-least, I know that Ovi (and Knooble) will give everything he got, like they done it in the 2d period. Hearing him at press-conf. and seeing how he looks after and during the games, I can see that Ovi burning inside. So much, that if in past he was easy on others and stimulating by support, then now he start kicking.
    In this series Boucher and TBL just outsmarted BB and Caps, yet. Hearing what he saying in interviews is really entertaining and informative. He motivated and put everything on game 3, making it do or die, and they got it done.
    Would be very interesting to see what will happen next. Alex burning and saying they will win tonight and can win 3 also. Which is quite possible because all games were so close and Caps could have, at-least, 2 of them.
    Then, after the series we can talk about BB fate.

  • http://singingfromthecrease.wordpress.com Mia

    Again, for those 14 or so people who have read through my blog from the start of the season, the word “attitude” is exactly the problem. I am an expert on this word. I have been paid by the U.S. Government to “coach” men (mostly) and women who carry weapons, risk and take life and who can’t ever make a “mental” mistake, because actual, real lives are at stake if they do.

    Now, hockey is just a game, but how many of us in the Washington Capital’s Nation have our lives greatly affected by this game and our CAPS? THOUSANDS! I can’t address all the comments, so I’ll make my comment from my perspective and it will match much of the sentiments posted here at RMNB (I’m an avid of this blog and love the guys behind as much as one person can love total strangers in this case – I knew ‘em, they’d be on my “Holiday” card list for sure).

    This may not seem like it matters, but I’d bet a pinky-toe (not kidding, cuz I’m so sure I’m right about this) that if an IQ test were given to BB and Guy Boucher – there would be a very clear and distinct difference between the two scores. Most of you know which one I think will come out of top in this case. There are always problems to be solved by a hockey club. The head coach does have to work with the players his hockey club provides. I did read Gabby’s book – twice (I know, I should get a life – wait though – I’m a hockey lifer too, so mission accomplished).

    On so many levels just from his book alone, I can surmise that his ability to solve the problems of this hockey club’s team in TODAY’S, post-lockout, 30-team, CBA NHL is simply not within his own experience, ATTITUDE, personality and skillset. He can coach teams, but he can’t coach this one.

    I have stated over the course of this year in my blog and vlogs that the Washigton Capitals organization itself has a “philosophy” issue, so putting all anger and hate on one guy simply can’t be done. Having an awareness that he most certainly is not the right guy for the job at this point, given the environment seems 100% on the mark for me.

    The 4th line should never be anything but Gordo, Hendy and Brads either. Neuvy has done an amazing job maintaining his cool through this S-storm, so please everyone, understand he’s young, under pressure and has been all “man” about his team’s lack of defensive assistance these last two games. NO ONE GUY CAN BE THE HERO ON A TEAM. They all have to be our heroes.

    I BELIEVE there will be a team full of heroes tonight!

  • Hackeynut

    Now apparently Bruce is considering pulling Neuvy and putting in Varly tonight. Any more defenders?

  • Robert Patton

    Maybe we should fire Bruce Boudreau. Hell, his boss George McPhee is also to blame. Lets get rid of him. Maybe our team was just better off without having Ted own the team. Lets just restart the team to do better.

  • Yuk

    I almost curtain that Varly will start. The problem is/was that BB and many others write in Neuvy and stuck to him. Nothing against Neuvy, but to keep in the game is not enough. Sometimes you have to preserve the lead or/and win the games.

  • deann

    At some point, don’t we have question the actual conditioning of this team? Boudreau doesn’t like morning skates, we know that. He does a lot of optional skates, we know that. He apparently doesn’t have them study a lot of video. We know that because he once mentioned that in an article about how they were really prepping for a game (and it was a ridiculous minor amount of study). He talks about his lazy habits when he was in the AHL that prevented him having a successful NHL career.

    The guys is fun, likeable, and I want to root for him. But this is pretty much a mirror of how we played in Montreal, only Rolo isnb’t the goaltender that Halak was and we somehow managed to eek out some wins on him. The power play stinks, we’re turning pucks over, and we’re not playing a full 60 minute game.

    Meanwhile, Tampa sticks to its system, plays smarter, and creates their own luck. Meanwhile Tampa played a 7 game series then within 2 days took on our Caps who had been well rested. Which team looks like it has the tired legs?

  • CDizz

    “Look, boys, Knuble is going to score! How many men do we have on the ice?”
    “Five, Coach.”
    “SEND MOAR!!!!”

  • Colin

    I think it is too soon to be having the talk about BB’s future. Tomorrow for sure if things go badly tonight. But if they do, then it is a serious discussion that needs to happen. I’m trying to stay positive, but I’m watching a team where the captain is trying to lead by abandoning the system in favor of individual effort, the other stars are either non-existent or hurting their team with mental lapses and the entire bench looks disorganized. A TMOI on a PP is inexcusable. Maybe BB will bench Fehr as punishment like he usually does (snarky comment, I know).

    The thing that has always concerned me about this team is how the stars get huge ice time even if they are playing very poorly.

    I suspect we’ll find out Nicky and Green are playing with a serious injuries after the season is over. They need to sit because they are not able to contribute right now.

    I hope, hope, hope that the boys will do the impossible. It would be the best story for them to rally with four straight and go on to win the cup. They certainly have the talent and ability. Which is why a four and out would hurt all the more and scream for major changes.

    Let’s hope Robert, Dave C and others get their wish and watch the BB naysayers eat crow in June. But if things don’t go as we hope, then I hope they’ll join us in a serious discussion about what needs to change, both the roster AND the coach.

  • deann

    I would LOVE to eat crow in June! LET’S GO CAPS!

  • Peter Hassett

    @CDizz, hahahahaah!

  • Bucky Katt

    Peter sez: “Keep in mind, everyone: we’re here ’cause we care. We have that in common, so please be kind.”

    I believe the kevetching and vitrol is because we, as fans, *DO* care. Rather intensely. Especially when I’m laying out over $6 grand a year for season tickets hoping that I’ll get to see EC or SC finals in Verizon Center when post-season comes. But ala “Ground Hog Day” it’s the same $h*t over and over.

    And thank you for providing this area in which to spew.

  • Jeremy

    Cap’s need to read Rex Ryan’s book: “Play Like You Mean It”. Everyone on here is right, sadly the caps are just not working hard – I’ll never give up on them – but it comes down to grit, work ethic, and buying into the system in the play-offs: St. Louis, Lecavalier, Stamkos, Malone, guys like that are leading the lightening and they all do it by playing within the system and for the team. It truly looks like the Caps are out there playing street hockey sometimes, ripping shots off their back foot from 35 feet out, or trying to dangle through 5 guys. But I will say this, if there is a team capable of pulling themselves out of this rut this is the team – Don’t stop believing. Tonight history begins to be made…

  • J.P.

    Hell, the lack of adjustments and lack of productivity on the PP are reasons enough to fire him. He’s had a little over a year to change the PP unit and nothing really changed did it? Sure he tinkered with it a time or two, then went right back to the same old, same old, apparently expecting different results. That’s Insanity run amok. I’m surprised the entire fanbase doesn’t have concussions from all of their heads collectively banging against the wall after suffering through every woefully inadequate PP. Given how gravely important PP goals are in the playoffs – and you can certainly make the case that getting 1 or 2 PP goals this series from the Caps could have reversed the current standings – it’s certainly an egregious, fire-able offense.
    Given the above, and given his abysmal post-season record, which at the end of the day is the only record that matters, then yeah, he should be shown the door post-haste.
    One more thing: this teams says they love having BB as coach, but they sure don’t play like they love him, do they?

  • sbt

    It’s times like these I wish it were March again…

    Too late for them to say “we were just kidding”? Take a mulligan?

  • Rob

    Most of these players have excelled and/or won championships at some level…they have gone to the next gear, and did waht ever it takes…they are not engaged, and thats up to the coach.

    If the team is full of individuals, you need a coach that can change that, or move some of the players…

    BTW – was your post optional ?? ;^)

  • Ray in Bowie

    I’m conflicted here because Bruce is a great guy, the players seem to like to play for him, and he’s been a great regular season coach. But-
    He’s been outcoached repeatedly, the power play is a game-killer, we have no clue how to forecheck, clear the puck, or clear the crease. That’s playoff hockey. That’s why we lose. It may or may not be his fault, but once the players are no longer performing for the coach you have, you look for a new one.

  • Bart

    I don’t see how any coach can make Ovie stop trying to bowl through three defenders instead of passing to an open team mate, given his contract and standing with the brass.

  • Mel

    For those of you who are wondering, it took the Red Wings under Steve Yzerman 14 years to win the cup (he was drafted in 83, first win in 97). It also took their coach Scotty Bowman 6 years to win his first cup (started coaching in the nhl in 67, won it in 73). Though questions have been raised, which are important and need to be answered, we should wait for the end of the season before trying to answer them.

  • Bund

    Everyone is missing the big picture here. We knew this team had TONS of talent during the offseason, we also knew that it wasn’t built for the playoffs. Did we make major personnel changes during the off-season to improve the defensive focus, add character guys, etc? No. Minimal changes. Then BB makes changes as though he has those types of players on the roster, making the focus D. This, in turn, makes the offensive players less effective.

    BB isn’t the only problem, but he’s a part of it. He has a great group of individuals, but he can’t make them a team and he can’t get rid of the attitude. He’s lost the room, and for that, he should be gone – even if they manage a miracle comeback. This roster is too talented to only win one round in the playoffs (or two out of six over the years).

    That said, after they fire BB, they really need to make some trades and signings. There is plenty of talent on this roster that some of it (SEMIN, we’re looking at you) must be traded for the types of players that win championships. You simply cannot win with the makeup of this roster. The caps need defensive D-men and shutdown defensive forwards….badly.

  • Hackeynut

    To the point about Scotty. Scotty came in to Detroit in 1993 and basically began rebuilding the team from the ground up. He changed Yzerman from that pure scoring center to a two way player. With the Wings he went out in the playoffs the first year he was there and then made the Cup finals in 3 of the next 4 years, winning the whole thing twice. His only non Cup final year was a tough 6 game loss to the eventual champion Avs in the Western Conference finals.

  • Hackeynut

    Also you are right, at the start of Scotty Bowman’s career it took him six years to hoist the cup. But he also made the Cup finals the first three years he was a coach. He didn’t lose in the first and second round to far inferior teams.

  • Elsa

    You guys JINXED the Caps big time with that stupid painting depicting the Caps with the SC splattered all over your site. You share part of the blame for our bad luck, because those bounces resulting in goals against are from the Hockey devil!

  • 28ISGREAT

    @Hackneynut – I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say TB is an inferior team. They were the one team I absolutely DID NOT want to play this round.

    And if we want to spare our boys until the season is officially over – we can spend time blaming Buffalo and Montreal for the current predicament we find ourselves in (Pittsburg never stood a chance – even if they did have a series lead).

    I have a hard time believing we’d be down 3-0 to either of those squads. Then again, I didn’t think we’d ever be down 3-0 to anyone save maybe Vancouver in the finals…

  • Liz

    So I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I still haven’t really fully decided either way. BB *is* a very good coach, as we’ve seen since he’s been hired. He does have drawbacks as everyone pointed out, but I think the biggest one, and the one I agree with the most is player attitude.

    It’s strange comparing my two favorite teams, but I feel the attitude issue is similar to what was going on with the Wild this year. They just recently fired their coach, and an interview with Koivu said something about part of the reason he was fired is because the players attitude towards the coach wasn’t what it should be. He said the way a coach can do the best is to get ALL of the players to rally around him and to earn their respect. The coach should have the respect and power to be able to make players do what needs to be done. The players, too, should *want* to rally around their coach and be really united as a team that way.

    Granted, BB may have the excellent tactical strategy, but it really does appear that he doesn’t have the ability to give the team the unity that it really needs. With star players not doing their best, I think that may be a sign that BB’s tactical abilities would be better off elsewhere (possibly another team?) and the Caps could use a more powerful coach? Or maybe he can pull it together and become that uniting factor that the team needs…

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Go Caps! :)

  • Greg

    I love Bruce, he’s a nice and likable guy, but I’m not sure he’s got what it takes. Last two seasons I’ve been firmly in his camp, but if something’s gotta give, it’s gotta be Bruce. At this point, I see him as the most expendable part of the team’s immediate abilities. I think the drop off in the regular season with a different coach would be negligible if existent. And who knows what happens come playoff time.

  • BobbyG

    The Caps dire situation is so sad and frustrating. If they fail to make an epic awesome comeback and win 4 straight to take this series, there will be lots of questions asked about accountability. Coach Boudreau will take most of the heat and blame, but IMO there is lots of blame to spread around, it isn’t solely on him I’ll save my rants for when it’s more appropriate, because if the Caps fail again I know I’ll feel lots of negative emotions, and I don’t want to say what I feel until I can be more objective, after the sting and pain has worn off. Let’s see how long that takes.

    But specifically about Boudreau, I have issues about his coaching style and decisions. His management of ice time is awful, I don’t understand why he lets some players (Ovie) stay on the ice so long he looks gassed and needs oxygen. Also, why continue to play Ovie on the point when it doesn’t work? Why is it Boudreau can’t motivate and inspire his team to play as a team and not go back to their bad habits of trying to do too much as individuals? I want and need answers to these questions, because it baffles and frustrates me so much that this super talented Caps team is on the verge of yet another disappointing playoff exit..

  • Jason

    I remember a poll released during the All-star break that asked the players which team was the most overrated in the league, answer: Washington Capitals. The other question asked is who is the easiest coach to play for, answer: Bruce Boudreau. And then when you watch Bruce’s press conference from lastnight you can see a correlation in it all. There is a serious lack of accountability in the locker room, and it stems from Bruce. Ovechkin says they dominated the game. I must have seen a different game, because I thought Washington, and particularly the defense, looked nervous and desperate all night long. Perhaps Ovi was referring to his line, because they were playing pretty darn well I thought, but the rest of the team looked like they knew something bad was going to happen, they just didn’t know when. You can’t keep playing the victim and expect a different outcome, i.e., “we dominate game, just poor ref call, bad bounce”. If Neuvy has less than an unbelievable 3rd period the end score would probably have read 7-3. What does the coach and Capt. say then?

    I think Bruce is a helluva hockey coach, with an amazing winning record, especially in the regular season, but there are very bad habits still within this hockey team. Their powerplay started going downhill at the end of last season, and carried over through the Montreal series. It never really got any better this year, maybe slightly in March, but has continued to disappoint when it matters the most. They somehow completely reverted systems mid-game of game 1 after taking the lead. How on Earth does that occur after so willingly implementing a defense first system, and succeeding with it, during much of the regular season? And then letting your goalie hang out to dry during the most important period of game 3 when you’re up in the game. Assuming we lose this series in the next several games, or tonight, I don’t understand how the Caps upper management wouldn’t be forced to make a coaching change.

  • Jim

    Look, tonight is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. All the Bolts are doing is throwing the puck from the sideboards to the front of the net. Every. Single. Time.

    Look, it’s the coach’s responsibility to counter that. I don’t see much changing defensively.

  • Ryan

    Coaches need to motivate and instill confidence in their players. They need to be the field general, THE LEADER. I dont see intensity from the Players or the coach. Why isnt everyone fired up, screaming, yelling, gettin in each others faces? I would give my left nut to be playing out there, i get hyped just thinking about it.

    This team lacks leadership and intensity, and as the head coach Boudreau is REQUIRED to bring these very important factors, especially come playoff time! The Caps will not win a Cup with Boudreau as their coach.

  • Ryan

    Wait a second, what’s that….? i think i hear a broom…. Fire Boudreau.. P.s. Did anyone see on 24/7 when Bruce was being interviewed with bbq sauce all on his face??

  • 28ISGREAT

    Buh Bye BB

  • Mark

    Do you think a PGH blog will get to write the eulogy? They have plenty more to laugh at now. They at least went 7 games with Tampa without their stars.
    F-ing embarrassment.

  • Steve

    Isn’t it Boudreau’s job to get them to stop being divas and play hockey? He is the coach, he is in charge. If they don’t care its his fault. He is the end all be all. If that team isn’t ready its his fault, no one else’s.

  • Avtopilot

    Well, it’s time to improve the coaching now.

    How to do it – to hire a new coach or to increase the coaching team with add. specialists. I leave this decision to specialists. GMGM, it’s your turn now.

  • chris

    At first I thought that the first thing the Caps organization needed to do was fire the one person who is the leader of the team. It’s obvious that a new coach (ie: Dan Bylsma) can spark some new trends in a young team, but after watching yet another post season collapse I wonder if a new coach would even have any impact on the attitude of its “divas.” It’s clear Ovi can and will do whatever he wants. No one in the organization has altered his reckless, yet entertaining, style of play thus resulting in a what seemed to be one man show against the Bolts.. Semin is so arrogant to the point that he wont sign a multi year contract, so that makes me curious if he is looking to raise his stock with another 40 goal year off a powerful offense to go sign a Kovi like contract with a struggling team with loads of cap space in the near future.

    Two premier players like this need to adopt the system that is implemented by an experienced coach, lead by example, and play for the team and not for individual success. A simple system, 1-3-1, with guys like Lecalavier, St. Louis, and Stamkos in the mix shows that sticking to a system can set precedent for guys like Bergenheim, Moore, and Malone to follow.

    Bottom line, Boudreau isn’t the problem. Though his coaching style, and some communication strategies (… HBO 24/7) would seemingly be obvious grounds for dismissal, I feel it is up to the GM to take the off season and reevaluate his team’s expectations and turn them into a reality.

  • sadandbroke

    I love these kids and hate to see this talent squandered.
    As mean as this sounds, I truly believe Bruce has taken them as far as he is capable. He’s just not that intelligent to win in the playoffs.

  • @CapFans1426

    I’m torn on this. . . . Personally I see and understand all the reasons for calling for BB’s head. The one and BIGGEST question is:

    Who does Uncle Ted and GMGM replace him with?

    Do we call French up from HBH, or hire someone with no ties to the organization?

  • Ken

    Well, he did take an offensive-minded team and turn them defense-minded halfway through the season. Lets see how a full year at this season looks. And over the offseason, lets get rid of inherited talent that now dont fit the new system.
    Sucks that last year our offense was what set us apart, now we have to drop back to the pack to compete. Oh well.

    I like Bruce, but I also liked Hanlon, so who knows. I hope he stays one more year.

  • andrew harman

    seriously.. hearing people talk about semin nd backstrom is annoying.. semin was amazing in the playoffs this year he isnt going to score every game.. he is on the 2nd line for a reason he is not ovi i dont know what you expect from him
    he looked like he skated well every game in the playoffs and put up points
    backstrom looked like he was hurt when he was playing and has been our 2nd or 3rd best player for years….
    if arnott stays so should semin arnott has made semin grow as a player and i think he is skating harder than ever before…
    fehr has become just a guy someone who had big expectations is not turning out well
    laich is a great player as well and has a good mentality and is def not a diva..
    ovi puts up points all the time.. does he need someone to keep him in line sometimes.. yes. but ovi is ovi he wouldnt be good if he didnt take risks.. sometimes goalies make a difference every single one of the games agaisnt the lightning was close and could have gone either way if it wasnt for our defense playing terrible and letting the lightning pass the puck right in front of the net for easy one times..
    mike green is a terrible defender in the playoffs because after you play against him for a game or two you can work him out of his play style

    carlson and alzner played great nd hannan nd imo wideman will both be good.. bad line changes that happen because a player would rather skate off than keep working is a problem as well
    but semin honestly looked great throughout the playoffs and it makes me mad that people hate on him you arent goign to score every game.. he cant play defense well everyone knows that that doesnt mean he doesnt try he is a finesse player just cause he doesnt get in to the dirty areas doesnt make him bad… and backstrom def just looked hurt so i dunno what yall problem is! backstrom shouldnt have played but outside of that we have a great young/prime aged team and i hope backstrom comes back

  • charlie

    a tough one i’ve been dreading. loved bruce when he was w/the bears, loved him when he came up to the big club & they started winning, and still love the guy. . . but a sweep? this was not a typical caps, “grab a 2-0 or 3-1 lead then lose a close series.” 4. in. a. row. . . i won’t feel pleasure if bruce is fired and am not certain that’s the answer, but geez, a sweep is a big, fat, bad deal. somebody needs to figure out where their heads were at (figuratively speaking, i can answer that!) and why!!

  • Ryan

    If Bylsma could nearly beat Tampa without Crosby and Malkin…what does this say about Boudreau getting swept by Tampa with a nearly 100% healthy team?

    Boudreau is overmatched and out of his league.

  • Ryan

    Also, Guy Boucher and Bylsma could each be Boudreau’s son…and they are outcoaching him.

  • K Rob

    Last year’s playoff disgrace was supposed to be the wake-up call for Washington that things had to dramatically change. I love Bruce but he’s had his chance to change the culture of this team and failed repeatedly. I think its time we thank Bruce for the memories and start to really evaluate the character and chemistry of this team. Right now, the marquee players that make up the young core of this team lack passion, discipline, focus, and big game prowess. Too many of them exude a sense of entitlement… too acutely aware of their natural & often dazzling (yet inconsistent) talent and play as though simply showing up is good enough. The last thing they need is another season under the tutelage of a “player’s coach”. The Caps need to find a coach that demands focus and accountability from every single player on the team. No more excuses.

    Will this season’s embarrassing playoff exit cause Ovi to reevaluate how he spends his off-season or is he already partying like a rock star?

  • A.K.

    I wish Jaques Lemaire had not retired. The only person I could see coach the Caps instead of BB.

  • cheeburger

     I admit in 2008 boudreau was a great coach and everybody was excited to get that glen guy out and get ourselves a half decent coach. We got so happy that he was here and for once we actually made the divison and won it. The magnificient ovi won’t be young forever. He has done so much for our orginization and not forgetting for what boudreau did but i think its time to get ovi a coach that will have a legit chance of winning the cup and we should get boudreau out the door if he can fit and bring in a guy like kirk muller and maybe just maybe with the adjustments we’ve made then we will have somewhat of a chance of winning.

  • Sauce Boss

    I totally agree with cheeburger

  • Richardu

    Why is boudrea still coaching the caps?  He reminds me of Wilson in TO, where he puts his star players under the media heat if they make a mistake.   Come on!  Let them play, mistakes are going to happen.  Ovi needs to do his thing and stop playing this boring Defiensive alignment that budreau preaches.  Now no one can score.  With all the star players on this team, and the team continually struggling to find goals.  Is it possible this Defensive minded coaching is not working.  GO back to the high power offense that won the presidents title.  You ran into a hot goalie in the playoffs and now your changing your system.  It’s not working.  Come on McPhee, Please FIRE boudreau!!! 

  • bv

    Yeah, cause as unhappy as Ovechkin is playing a system any system that doesn’t allow him to freelance, he’d be ecstatic playing the trap.

    p.s., yeah I know it’s a year ago. The comment was so profoundly stupid, I couldn’t resist.