Hockey Blog Beat – November 20, 2011.

In today’s medley of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Would firing Bruce Boudreau improve the Capitals?…Scolding the media for its recent obsession with the Capitals…Questioning the heart of the Islanders…Wondering if hockey’s “code” still exists…Analysis of how some teams are using their young players.


Is the media obsessing too much over the Capitals?

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski looks at the growing number of reports singling out the recent poor play of the Washington Capitals, and the suggestions about replacing Bruce Boudreau as head coach. Wyshynski reminds readers the Capitals suffered an eight-game losing skid last December and survived, noted GM George McPhee’s loyalty to Boudreau, suggested the latter wouldn’t have difficulty finding another NHL coaching job, but wondered if the Capitals could survive without him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something is noticeably wrong about the Capitals this season, which only naturally is going to generate considerable media attention, given the club’s status as supposedly among the league’s elite teams. It doesn’t appear as though McPhee will give up on Boudreau and could continue to remain patient, but if they do fire him, it remains to be seen who could replace him and do a better job. 

TOO MANY MEN ON THE SITE: Sahil Patel chided those in the media of late who’ve been piling on the “What’s wrong with Ovechkin/Capitals?” bandwagon, suggesting they’re doing so merely to attract more readers/viewers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was among those who recently wondered why Ovechkin’s offensive production has declined so sharply. It wasn’t done to drive traffic to my site, but rather because I had a genuine interest in the subject. Indeed, I would suggest most in the media who’ve reported on the subject did so for the same reason. The Capitals since 2009 have been among the NHL’s elite teams, and since 2005-06, Ovechkin considered arguably the league’s brightest superstar. It’s only natural when he and his team goes into a lengthy slump for the media, and bloggers, to be interested, because it’s a worthwhile story to follow. Sure, some may be going a little over the top in their analysis by suggesting Ovechkin should be traded or Boudreau should be fired, but overall, they’re doing their job and shouldn’t be faulted for that. I do, however, agree with Patel it’s a long season and things can change. The Capitals went through a bad spell midway through last season which generated considerable media attention only to  finish atop the Eastern Conference, and they could do it again, so we shouldn’t be too hasty to believe they’re heading into a death spiral. 

HOCKEY INDEPENDENT: B.D. Gallof accuses the floundering NY Islanders of being “tin men”, lacking passion, grit and determination, believing it may be time for management to shake things up.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, the Islanders have been among the league’s most disappointing teams this season. They appeared primed for a breakout as a playoff contender, but instead, it’s the same old crap. 

HOCKEY IN SOCIETY: Examines the questions raised about the continued existence of “The Code” in the wake of Milan Lucic running over goaltender Ryan Miller.

A THEORY OF ICE: Examines how come NHL teams thus far this season have been developing their young talent.


  1. Bruce is what’s wrong with ovi. Get a coach that will take the leash off, and ovi will take off once again.

  2. After watching the Washington/ Maple Leaf game last night, it appeared evident to me that the Capitals showed little or no interest in competing last night. Ovechkin appears almost indifferent and at present, is not leading but rather is leading by example and it appears to be a poor example at that. The Caps have far too much talent for this to continue very long but if by months end it still looks bad, changes of some sort will have to come

  3. Watched the Leafs/Caps tilt last night and it seems pretty clear that Ovi’s massively underperforming by choice. I wonder if McPhee is so loyal to Boudreau that he’d trade away his franchise player. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen. You can say you heard it here first: Bruce Boudreau won’t last to the end of this year.

  4. The Caps against the Leafs was an open ended defiance to Bruce and what can be read as a very clear indication the players are tired of Bruce’s system and want or are demanding his replacement is in place soon.

    Nothing is working for the Caps right now. No offense, no defense, no special teams, no power play and not much penalty kill. Both goalies are being left out on their own and look horrible.

    There are so many reasons to replace Boudreau and very few legitimate reasons to keep him at this point. Why the loyalty crap remains is beyond me.

    It’s sad, but not unexpected. The Caps have been on a downward spiral for a few years now. Winning regular season games is fine and dandy and the Caps have a sweet collection of SE banners. Yet nothing else in over a decade. Losing after being up 3-1 in a playoff series or losing 0-4 are indicators of a much bigger problem.

    Only place this rests is inept coaching and until he’s replaced, it’ll never change.

    Visit for more insanity and our unique love/hate relationship towards the Caps and their management.