A bunch of my readers have long complained that Hunter Hockey, in addition to being approximately as successful as the late-era Boudreau Hockey, was sometimes as joyful to watch as an 8 a.m. calculus lecture delivered by Vinny Cerrato.
Not only did the Caps no longer seem like one of the NHL’s best teams; they were no longer the exciting and brash outfit that made hockey such an exciting entertainment option in D.C.
I sort of figured that was just the stuff disgruntled fans worried about, especially after Hunter Hockey took the Caps to Game 7 of the second round. But now here’s Bob McKenzie, TSN’s big gun, suggesting that the Caps will seek a more entertaining style next season.
“I don’t think they necessarily go out and say we’ve got to find the next Dale Hunter, because he’s a unique individual,” McKenzie said during a discussion of Hunter’s departure. “I think in the perfect world George McPhee, Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals would like to find somebody who can do a lot of what Hunter did in terms of the accountability, teach guys like Ovechkin and Backstrom and Green that you can do more with less, that you don’t have to play 25 minutes every night of the playoffs.
“And yet they would still probably like to find somebody that can be a little more offensive oriented and not just shut it down when he’s got a 1-0 or 2-1 lead. Because I think entertaining the fans is part of the mandate for the Washington Capitals.”
Is it? Should it be? I can’t really decide. If you’re winning Stanley Cups, I’m sure it doesn’t matter. If you’re losing in the second round? Maybe it does. Either way, apparently it’s not just my disgruntled readers who’ve been thinking about this.
(By the way, McKenzie is not having your conspiracy theories about why Hunter left. “When someone cites personal and family reasons, quite often that is the reason,” he said. “Other people want to read into it that it was dealing with the media, or having to deal with Ovechkin and Semin and all these things. I think he’s just got personal and family reasons why he wants to be back in London.”)
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Feinstein suggests the Caps should go after Rick Nash. Stats nerds grind their teeth in anguish.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Bryce Harper’s brother celebrates Bam-Bam’s first Major League home run.
Harp with the big fly!!! Just saw Bryce's first home run!! #ProudBrother— Bryan Harper (@BHarp45) May 15, 2012
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
I have no idea what Alex Ovechkin was trying to say here.
“The leaders in this group have to be together and don’t look, you know...I don’t know how to explain better, but sometimes you don’t have to be jealous....I don’t want to say it was a jealous situation for us, but sometimes you just have to be a group together.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats host the Padres at 1 on MASN, weather permitting. The Orioles host the Yankees at 7 on MASN, weather permitting. All TV/Radio listings are here.
Ted Leonsis on the season that was: “I firmly believe we are a better team now than we were a year ago. We had a solid playoff performance, and I’m encouraged about our future.”
RMNB has an excellent farewell to Hunter Hockey.
JaVale McGee now has two pet platypusses, or whatever the plural is.
(UPDATE: He was joking. HAHA!!)
And is going to become a naturalized citizen of the Philippines.
National Football Post says the Redskins rank 31st in home-field advantage over the last three seasons.