Originally posted on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 3/8/12
The ambitious Washington Capitals are threatening to miss the playoffs and another coaching change appears inevitable.Dale Hunter has not had the desired impact since replacing Bruce Boudreau. He has come down hard on certain veterans (Mike Knuble and Roman Hamrlik in particular) without getting the desired results. Hamrlik appears doomed to spend the rest of the season as a healthy scratch. “Every coach is different,” Hamrlik told CSNWashington.com. “I don’t know. I don’t want to say too much.”Hunter's hiring was regarded as something of an experiment, since Hunter left the door open to return to the junior hockey team he owns and operates. That appears to be the likely outcome, give his team’s recent plays.Fans attending Capitals tried to needle Hunter with sign messages – “Free Knuble” and “Scratch Hunter” -- but ushers intervened.Here are some other notes on Washington’s failure. Hunter yanked goaltender Tomas Vokoun from two games and then benched him in favor of Michal Neuvirth. Then Vokoun suffered a mild groin muscle strain as Neuvirth went on a three-game losing streak. Defenseman Mike Green is struggling to regain his timing since returning from his sports hernia surgery. “Right now I feel like I’m kind of like a robot,” Green told the Washington Post. “I’m in position – but you want to be at a point when really the mental part of the game just flows. You create and you see things before they even happen and that’s the part of the game that I think has taken a step back. Hopefully, it peaks soon.” The Washington Post notes that defenseman John Carlson has been on the ice for 63 percent of the goals opponents have scored off Capitals turnovers on Hunter’s watch. Turnovers are up overall since the coaching change. The absence of No. 1 center Nicklas Backstrom to post-concussion syndrome has proven devastating. It appears highly unlikely that he will return before the end of this season. Meanwhile George McPhee told the Washington Post that he isn’t ready to give up on the season.“We’ve made remarkable runs the last 20 games almost every year,” McPhee said on Wednesday. “We’ve become too reliant on that great push at the end. But we need to make it again. We need our best players to carry the team — a hot goalie, Green, (Alexander) Semin or (Alexander) Ovechkin. We have players who can do it.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tony Gonzalez: Tony Romo did not cost me CBS job

Martavis Bryant conditionally reinstated by the NFL

USGA tries to simplify rules by ending viewer call-ins, somehow makes it more complicated

NFL GM: Peterson could push Saints ‘into the playoffs and beyond’

Report: Derek Jeter/Jeb Bush-led group wins auction for Marlins

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets GM: ‘No problem’ avoiding domestic violence offenders in draft

Texans will have a draft pick announced from outer space

Kobe Bryant on if he misses basketball: ‘No, I don’t’

Jay Cutler's agent: QB has no plans to retire

Jamaal Charles reminds teams he’s still available

Raiders to announce draft picks from ‘Las Vegas’ sign

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/25: 'So long, sleeves'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

20 of the best NFL Draft red carpet looks

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker