Photo credit: Jana Chytilova
Way back on November 26, 2008, Karl Alzner made his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals against the Atlanta Thrashers. Since then he’s played 198 career games in the NHL. Until this season, he’s had one coach, one defensive partner, and a virtual lock on the playoffs.
This season has been different. Bruce Boudreau was fired and Capitals legend Dale Hunter was brought in to lead the team. Hunter has installed a new system and switched up the defensive pairings — removing Alzner away from one of his best friends on the team, John Carlson. The playoffs are no longer a certainty. With fifteen games to go, the Capitals are three points out of the 8th and final playoff spot and may miss the post-season for the first time in five years.
On Saturday, I caught up with Alzner and we spoke about the new system, the switching of partners, and what Dale Hunter’s really like behind closed doors.