by Patrick Hoffman on 05/05/11 at 05:35 PM ET
This is something I pondered over at RLD Hockey today.
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Is it Time for Boudreau to Go?
By Patrick Hoffman
Another year, another postseason in which the Washington Capitals do not advance past the second round. This has been the common theme for the Capitals under Head Coach Bruce Boudreau, and a theme that needs to stop if they want to have any chance of playing deep into May and early June.
For that to happen, Capitals GM George McPhee must make the difficult decision of letting Boudreau go.
Yes, Boudreau helped put the Capitals back on the map in the 2007-08 season. Yes, Boudreau helped this team to a Presidents’ Trophy one season ago. Yes, the Capitals made the playoffs every year under Boudreau’s tenure.
This season, however, should be the last straw for Boudreau. While the team did manage to get the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and beat the New York Rangers in the first round (the only team the Caps have beat in the playoffs the last four years), they certainly did it the hard way.
The Capitals were shut out 11 times this season. This is a team that has the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich, Mike Green and John Carlson, and still struggled to score goals.
A big reason for this was that Boudreau changed the team’s system during the year. Instead of being a team that could score a lot of goals and win a lot of high-scoring hockey games, they became a defense-first hockey club and in the end, it was their downfall.
With a team that has that much talent and scoring ability, they should have been blowing teams away and they were not doing that. The team became something they were not meant to be and it ended up coming back to bite them. It’s easy to put the blame on the players, who have individually underachieved in the playoffs, but McPhee has done enough with the roster over the last few years.
Under Boudreau, the Caps dropped Game 7 on home-ice in three consecutive years. This time around, they didn’t even get a chance to be eliminated on home-ice as they were swept away by the Lightning.
It is time for someone else to be the head coach in Washington. Boudreau did have a successful tenure, but given the way his teams have performed in the playoffs, they need someone who will bring out the best in them and have them play the way they are meant to play and for the Capitals.
For the Capitals, that is all offense, and Boudreau simply does not have it anymore with the team.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.