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.
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.