Posted by IronCityspy
That sentence (and muscle contraction) was more or less repeated by every person with even a casual stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins. An explanation, though, is probably necessary.
While the Washington area generally had fond feelings for Mr. Boudreau, what with his astounding winning percentage, genial attitude and affinity for gym shorts (typically Al Bundying them), the Penguins fans, well, did not. It’s not that we hated him as a person or thought he was any sort of a villain – we just viewed him as something of a buffoon. Now this had little to do with the barbeque sauce incident…or his rotundness… or even his idiotic commercials. No, there was just something fatally missing about his coaching ability. We took comfort knowing that while the Caps would likely beat us in the regular season (as those were the Cap’s playoff games), Boudreau lacked the strategic ability to get the Caps past the Pens in a multi-game series.
It was then with great sadness when we woke up yesterday morning to learn of his dismissal. Visions of the Capitals own version of the 2009 Penguins danced in our heads. Gone was the coach that took a middling, yet supremely talented team from doldrums to respectability. His very simplistic and aggressive style, which had so successfully transformed the Capitals into a contender, was now guilty of holding them back. What was needed now was a heady, strategically minded coach that will create schemes to match the talent. And that is why the Capitals hired…wait…Dale Hunter?
Please don’t get me wrong, Dale Hunter was a loathed but respected player by Penguins fans (God was he a douche in NHL ’93), and has a reputation for being an intense and passionate minor league coach. But is he really what they need to win a cup? I agree that a disciplinarian will probably be a breath of fresh air, and I think Ovechkin particularly will enjoy playing under him. Hell, I even think these first 10 games will show a new vigor in the Cap’s step. I just feel like an inexperienced coach* that lacks strategic pedigree is an uninspired move for this team. I get the sense that McPhee felt he had to go ultra-populist in hiring a local hero, simply to avoid the pitchforks and torches accompanied by firing a popular Boudreau.
So in the end, we are sad Boudreau was let go as we believed he had a snowball’s chance in hell of ever winning a Cup. However we don’t have much faith Hunter will either.
*Please don’t compare him to Bylsma. Bylsma had a reputation for being a brainiac even back to his playing days.