Originally written on Turner Sports Desk  |  Last updated 11/19/11
The same guys making the same mistakes, the same guys playing one-way hockey combined with slow defensemen that refuse to violently separate the puck from opponents,  unexplained focus lapses, zero discipline and zero accountability. Ladies and gentleman your Washington Capitals! Stop me if you've seen how this movie ends. Many thought George McPhee solved the Caps problems over the summer with his brilliant manipulation of the draft and free agency. No matter how many good players you bring in, if the coach is terminally flawed you will still fail.

Fast forward to right now when the Caps appear to be stuck on stupid and no one including Bruce Boudreau has any answers on how to fix it. In last night's 7-1 loss to the Maple Leafs, Bruce's face in the post game presser told me everything I needed to know. He is at his wit's end and he has lost that locker room. So is Bruce the only problem? Absolutely not...The Caps have an overall defensive scheme that is a massive failure. Forwards don't forecheck and rarely back check, Some of their defensemen are oxygen thieves and they look like the bad news bears in their own zone...but other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play? 

For those of you saying it is too early to make changes, the obvious response is the Caps under Boudreau have been making the same mistakes and having the same problems since he arrived. Yes Boudreau won a lot of games (199) in fact but they don't give out Stanley Cups for regular season wins. The Caps are ultra talented and they can beat 90% of the teams in the NHL even in their flawed state. During Boudreau's tenure, the only time their problems came to the forefront is in the playoffs when the game changes. For those of you saying Mike Green's return will magically fix everything keep dreaming. Mike Green's return does not change the fact that Roman Hamrlik is slow, old and ineffective. It does not change the fact that Jeff Schultz could not keep a 4 year old girl out of the crease.
I've said since they got booted from the playoffs last season that in order for the Caps to earn a Stanley Cup, Bruce Boudreau has to show us something we've never seen from him before. A focus on the basics, a focus on discipline, accountability for everyone including his highly talented Russians and the ability to effectively adjust his game plan on the fly and not just juggle lines ad-infinitum.  Has anyone seen those things from Boudreau yet? Anyone? 
I know what you're thinking...If Bruce goes, who do you replace him with smarty pants? My answer is someone who is a stickler on the basics, discipline and accountability. I do not care if he is proven or not because a lot of young coaches getting more done with a lot less talent than Boudreau has. The new coach should be able to go to McPhee and request he remove dead weight players who are not buying in. The new coach may even need to remove the "C" from Ovechkin and offer it to a guy who is more mature and better equipped to lead men. The Caps need new energy and renewed purpose. That can only come with regime change.



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