The Washington Capitals were embarrassed by the New York Rangers last night, 7-0, and have now lost six games in a row. The team is still in first place in the Southeast Division and is not in danger of missing the playoffs, but that’s no longer good enough in Washington.
Alex Ovechkin and company have fallen short in the playoffs year after year, and patience is running thin around our nation’s capital.
It’s probably too early for anyone to call for Coach Bruce Boudreau’s head, but something’s got to change in Washington. Popular sentiment has been that this team is soft, poorly coached, and not built for the playoffs. If the losing continues, Washington GM George McPhee could decide he’s had enough and needs a no-nonsense veteran coach like Ken Hitchcock to get his team to the promised land.
But there could be one problem. Washington is in the middle of filming an HBO series, “24/7“, which debuts Wednesday night, chronicling their season leading up to the New Year’s Day Winter Classic against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals have long been treated by the media like the failure younger brother of the Penguins, and this rough patch leading up to the Classic will only further that notion. Washington really might need a new coach, but will McPhee really pull the trigger with potentially millions of HBO viewers watching the team’s every move? The Caps can’t get out of this TV series now, and though the messy situation that firing Boudreau would create would be delightful for HBO, it would be equally awful for the franchise.
If the losing continues, Washington may decide it’s time to make a change. Just don’t expect it until January 2nd.
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