Tag Archives: Hunter

The Caps are on the outside looking in

19 Feb

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.


The Schultz bonanza

19 Dec

Nope, I’m not talking about the tv show from the late 50’s, but the Caps silent defenseman, Jeff Schultz. Schultz is a defensive D-man by trade, preferring to stay in his own end and help the goalie more than go to the net and get goals.

That’s not a bad thing, it’s actually a very good thing. The Caps have had a constant struggle the past few years trying to find good defensemen who are more defensive minded, than offensive like Carlson and Green.

Schultz has been having a pretty good season. Again, he isn’t supposed to be a flashy in your face kind of player, but he gets the job done by, for the most part, getting pucks out of the zone. So what’s with all the commotion?

Some say Hunter picked the line combinations out of a hat, I like to think he stole Project Runways tasselled black bag to put together the lines. Either way, Jeff Shultz appeared on the first line today in practice.

While this may be a shock and cause you to spin in circles, don’t you remember back in the good ‘ole days when the Caps won the Presidents Trophy and were supposed to win the Cup? yeah, Schultz was on first line with Mike Green. The entire time. Did anyone blow a gasket? I think not.

If anything, Hunter was trying out new line combos to find that magic “spark” that’s been elusive for some time now. If it works, does it really matter whose on which line? You win the same either way. Or lose…

My two cents; Schultz is a good defensive minded D who plays hard. He might not be a first liner in Washington (although I like to think he could on a different team), but he’s definitely a solid second liner.

Deja vu…

3 Dec

Remember last year when the Caps were on an eight game losing streak, no one’s job was safe, and 24/7 was filming Brucies f-bomb laden tirades? We happened to snap our losing streak to the Ottawa Senators (see where I’m going with this…) and had a rendition of Jersey Shore fist pumping in the locker room celebrating the win.

The Caps don’t have Bruce (congrats to Gordo on his second NHL goal last night) and they don’t have a HBO film crew following them around this year, but they’re on a downward spiral of 4 games and I’m sure there is some cursing going on. Can they snap their losing streak to the unfortunate Senators tonight? Or will the Senators escape with the W? Time will tell, but given the past few games, here are my predictions.

The Caps fired their Coach last Tuesday after a lackluster few weeks after their amazing start. At the beginning of the season, the Caps had beaten the Senators 2-1 at the Phone Booth. At that time; the Caps were 4-0 and looking an undefeated 7-0 streak in the face.

The Sens, on the other hand. Have been an average Canadian hockey team that doesn’t get much, if any, media attention. They’re record is a measly 12-11-2, which pretty sums up how well they play. Not great, but not horrendous. They lost their last game, so both teams are fighting to snap a losing streak or potential one.

I suspect the Caps will do their usual stone cold in the first hot and streaky throughout the rest of the game act. Ottawa will play like Ottawa, so meh. Whoever wins this game it’ll be by one or two goals. I also suspect this will be a low scoring and tight game. Here’s to the Caps defense showing up and the forwards not giving up, eh?

Other notes:

-Semin and Hamrlick aren’t playing due to undisclosed upper  and lowerbody injuries, respectively.

-Matty P’s in due to Semin being out.

-Random thought: Doesn’t Dale Hunter look like Patrick Swayze?

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