This is not a knee jerk reaction to the Caps laying down and losing a game without showing emotion against a division rival. Losing a game to a Thrashers team featuring none other than Dustin Run-The-Goalie Byfuglien, as well as several large forwards, including heavyweight enforcer Eric Boulton, that for some reason, Boudreau scratched Erskine and King against. The Capitals and Thrashers have had bad blood recently. So why not play a bigger, tougher lineup against a huge, top flight scoring team?
The answer lies in Boudreau's style. He is a pacifist coach, one who has decided to let the power play be the enforcer. Here is a guy who has stuck by his plan; a man of conviction. BB has been routinely outcoached in the playoffs, despite entering the last two playoff seasons with by far superior teams to the competition we have been eliminated by. However, at some point, we need to cut our losses and run. A midseason coaching change has proven beneficial in recent memory, and I'm convinced that it would serve the Capitals well.
So who can come in and institute a new system that the players can adapt to, in time for the playoffs? None other than local hero Dale Hunter. Hunter has been coaching in the OHL since 2001, training both of his sons, one of whom is toiling in the ECHL currently. He guided the London Knights to the Memorial Cup in 2005, which shows that he can motivate and nurture his young players' growth, yet demand nothing but the best from them. Hunter also has been suspended twice as a head coach because of players leaving the bench to fight. While some could see this as a sign of poor leadership, I see this as a coach demanding teamwork from his players, and them displaying a tremendous amount of camaraderie and respect for each other to go to great lengths to defend each other - very much unlike the modern Capitals.
Boudreau too had shown that he could lead a youth movement, but that has not translated into the bigs. He found instant success with the Capitals when he was initially promoted, mostly because with the Capitals he found eight Hershey Bears whom he had coached only months earlier. He already had their trust and respect, so he had a head start. Not to take anything away from his successes, because Boudreau has done a great job of molding the current team, but he is not the coach moving forward because of his style.
The team needs a good shakeup, but the core of players have grown together and are committed to winning together. Minor moves, such as ridding the team of streaky deadweight like Fleischmann, make the team better, but aren't enough to really right the ship. Fire the coach, wake everyone up, and play some damn exciting hockey.