In a move that was highly expected, the Washington Capitals fired head coach Bruce Boudreau early Monday morning.
He is to be replaced by London Knights owner and head coach Dale Hunter. Hunter is a former Capitals player.
Despite have a plethora of talent, Boudreau failed to take the Capitals to the Stanley Cup finals posting a mediocre 17-20 playoff record. His regular season record have always been outstanding, with Boudreau being the fastest coach to ever reach 200 wins behind the bench. His record with Washington was an an astounding 201-88-40.
Boudreau was hired by the club in 2007, and lead the then struggling franchise to 4 straight Southeast Division Titles. He won coach of the year in 2008, but over the last couples years the team has seen struggling lapses.
Last year there was a stretch where the Washington side dropped 9 straight games, and this year are mired in a 6 loses in 8 games stretch. Over that period, 2-time MVP Alex Ovechkin has just 1 goal.
Boudreau recently came under fire for benching Ovechkin at the end of a game with his team down a goal. Ovechkin was visibly upset, and has been said to be clashing with Boudreau ever since.
It may have been the right time for the fire with a feuding, struggling superstar, a side that can’t win and a defence that’s a mess. Dale Hunter, known to be similar in style as Boudreau, will have the dubious task of meshing Niklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green and of course Ovechkin quite quickly.
The Capitals are currently 2nd in the Southeast behind the surprising Florida Panthers, but sit 8th in a tightly contested Eastern Conference.
Sometimes change is good, and maybe with the Boudreau firing, the stars on this team will feel a sense of accountability and play harder. Whatever the feel, they better start quick, because more dissapoinment from this side will result in a superstar behind held responsible.
That’s when all hell breaks loose.