Academic suspension over! Let’s talk some Caps hockey…or lack thereof. The Caps are, at this moment, 2 points out of first place in the Southeast Division (which also happens to be the weakest division in the NHL) and 1 point out of the Playoffs.
No big deal, right? WRONG. The Caps are here for a reason, not because the Sens have about faced and become the ’83-’84 Oilers in all their glory, but because the Caps have a Coach unwilling to change his style of Coaching to adhere to the type of talent he has.
Let’s look at the facts; 2 years ago, with the same core players, the Caps won the President Trophy. There is no way the same basic team, yes they have had changes, but they’re pretty minor, should go from winning the Presidents Trophy to a team that’s out of a Playoff spot and in serious doubt of making it.
Simply put, Dale Hunter isn’t putting the enormous talent he has to good use. Yes, Backstrom’s been out for over a month and Green just came back, but he still has Ovechkin, Wideman, Semin, Laich and plenty more. Just with those players this team shouldn’t be struggling to put up one or two goals a night with less than 30 shots on goal. Guys, you have to shoot to score and score to win.
You can’t just dump ‘n’ chase while poorly protecting your own end in hopes of scoring (I’m looking at you, Hamrlik. Don’t give me that offensive D bull). That’s not how it works or how it ever did. Dale Hunter was a great player and a good Junior Coach, but his system doesn’t work for the Caps.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unless the Caps start consistently showing up with effort and hopefully with a new style of play, they aren’t going to make the Playoffs this year. This is a make it or break it season for the Caps, and from the looks of things, it looks like a bust for Washington.