Bye Bye, BB.

The Capitals have fired Bruce Boudreau and replaced him with NHL alum and first-time head coach Dale Hunter.

It’s the same sort of surprise when you fall out of a tree hit the ground.  It was probably inevitable, but you’re still a little shocked to find that this is the time.   You thought it might take longer, maybe the laws of gravity would alter.  Maybe someone would catch you.

Sorry, very busy.

Let me preface this with an Unpopular Hockey Opinion:

I strongly dislike Alex Ovechkin.

Obviously I have some kind of Mike Green-and-geography induced Stockholm Syndrome going on that makes me a Caps fan.  And Ovi can be an electric player whose raw talent raises the game of his teammates.  I can’t say I hate him.  But I think his lackadaisical attitude permeates the Caps and makes his teammates salmon swimming upstream against the blahs.  Except Semin, who busts out his inner tube and cruises the Lazy River.

Now, before Dawn calls in a hit on me, this is not permanent.  Ovi shows flashes of greatness that have nothing to do with the way he scores – he can lead this team.  Most nights he simply chooses not to.  And that’s why BB had to go – he couldn’t lead Ovi.  Ovi’s contract and personality make him more powerful than the head coach.  Or at least they did.

So while I generally despise the firing of head coaches to shake up teams, I think GMGM made the correct and necessary move here.  If Dale Hunter comes in with a take-no-shit attitude, he could zip this team into the superhero suit they should be wearing.  Ovi made BB look bad.  This is what happens to people who make Hunter look bad:

I am also in favor of taking the C from Ovi.  If you’re making waves, might as well make ’em big.  I believe the C belongs to the hardest working guy on a team – not necessarily the highest profile or most prolific scorer.  I don’t recall anyone ever saying that about Ovi.  (Hate on Crosby all you want, but….)  Brooks Laich or Mike Knuble seem like better candidates to me.  And it would send a clear message that Hunter and McPhee lead this team, not The Usually, Mostly, If He Feels Like It Great 8.  Piss him off.  Make Ovi earn the C back and he’d be unstoppable.

PS: I know there are more issues with the Caps that just Ovi, but I believe in trickle-down solutions.

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  1. FULLY AGREE. The hardest work ethic Ovi has shown in the last few weeks was working to get BB fired. Did you see Saturday’s game vs. the Jets? Ridiculous. His captaincy is a sham to anyone who’s worn the “C” before. I’m with you, Pants – make him earn his captaincy back.

    I will, however, NOT miss the BBQ sauce on BB’s face. So long to the F*ckin’ Coach.

    • Scorpiosue1102 Reply

      I completely agree with you. I think Ovi’s lackluster performance as of late was to get BB fired. As soon as BB sat Ovi during the Anaheim game Boudreau was toast. It was the right decision by Boudreau, but from there on in I really think Ovi was going to do what was needed to get him fired.

      Next thing McPhee can do is to get rid of Semin. He’s dead weight.

      I think anyone, except Semin, would be a better captain than Ovi. I think Ovi is a spectacular player; he’s just not a leader. Pull his “C” and put a no nonsense player, like Knuble, as their captain.

  2. Deanna Reply

    I completely agree with you, Pants. I’m really hoping that Hunter comes in, rips the C off of Ovi’s jersey and puts it on Knuble’s or Laich’s.

  3. Cassy Reply

    Sure you didn’t need me to weigh in on this, but there are other reasons I want #21 as captain rather than #8 and not everything revolves around them pools of sapphires.

    *Hears a clunk, assumes someone on the office passed out. Wonders f it’s Intern Jeff Skinner?*

    You can close your mouth now Pants Lol. Brooks is polite, well-mannered, sets an excellent example and it’s obvious he can lead.

    And I’m not a Caps fan.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not a Caps fan (geographically, I should be) either, and the lack of commitment and leadership from the (not so) Great 8 doesn’t have me reconsidering. Ovi should be embarrassed. He’s a terrible example of an NHL captain and someone more deserving, who will appreciate the ‘C’, should wear it.

  5. Teri Reply

    Holy! This is going to make Thursday’s game especially interesting. [Pens fan by birth.] Agree with you regarding Ovi’s C. This blog is great. Y’all are making me the smartest Hockey Girl on my street. [OK, I’m the only Hockey Girl on my street, but that does not diminish your greatness.]

  6. As a Penguins fan and Pittsburgh resident, I am required by law to hate the Caps. However, Laich and Knuble are two guys I simply cannot dislike (don’t tell anyone in Pittsburgh I said that – I don’t want to get deported). I’d love to see one of them wear the “C.” And even though I really, really hate the Caps, I think the players deserve better than Boudreau. I’d like to see them have a fair chance to get beaten by the Pens and not be able to blame it on coaching. 😛

    • Cassy Reply

      It’s ok – I love the Bruins more than anything but my thing for Brooks is just plain confusing 😉

  7. Ovi is boring me. *yawn*

    Give Laich the C. Gotta hand it to a guy who when the team is down some D-men, steps up and plays defense. That is a true leader.

  8. Oh and Dale Hunter…you won’t like him when he’s angry.

  9. Reply

    Am I the only person here who think that Ovi’s lacklusterness isnt nessicarily the result of being benched or not caring? Form what I’ve seen, granted I dont get the NHL channle and im usually busy at work, there seems to be something off about Alex as of late. I mean more in a personal way. I look back at pictures from the better times and there a certain light in his eyes…. but its not there anymore. I’d wager a guess that it hasnt been there for the better part of a year. You can agree with me or you can disagree with me and I’m fine with that, but dont go making assumptions like he’s lazy or he wanted to get Bruce fired, there might accutally be a legit issue thats holding him back.

    • Pants - stupid mobile site! Reply

      I think this is a very valid theory. I also hope it’s dead wrong. I prefer to think/hope that Ovi’s issue is something fixable. I may not like him but I certainly want him around and playing well. If you’re right and it’s a physical or mental issue, I think they should say something. It can’t be better to have all this pressure getting worse daily if he should be trying to recover.