Bruce Boudreau’s job security is safer than you think

Breaking my hiatus again but I don’t have a final tomorrow and there’s been a lot of talk of this subject lately with the Caps riding a 7-game losing streak. I just wanted to weigh my two-cents in even though it’s going to be less in-depth than I like.

Anyway, it’s a frustrating time to be a Capitals fan with this losing streak. It’s not so much the fact that they’re losing but the way they are losing is very alarming. Bad special teams, bad goaltending, lazy defensive play, poor efforts and some ridiculous shift managements are all causing it and there’s definitely a lot of confidence issues as well. Alex Ovechkin says that “things will get easier as soon as we win a game” and I have to agree with him. What I saw on Sunday night after that 7-0 beatdown they took at the hands of the Rangers was a team with zero motivation or confidence and a frustrated leader in Ovechkin.

This is causing a lot of hockey “experts” who have only watched the Caps 4-6 times this year to believe that head coach Bruce Boudreau is now on the hot seat. I’m hearing that “Boudreau has lost the team,” “He is the worst coach in the NHL” and “He will be the next coach fired.” All three claims I find to be bogus. There’s three things that annoy me with sports fans; 1. Know-nothing bandwagoners, 2. The constant “MY TEAM IZ BETTER THAN URS!” garbage and 3. “Experts” who come out of the woodwork to talk about “What’s wrong with “x team.” It’s all happening right now with the Caps and it’s frustrating me to no end.

I’m going to be perfectly honest with my feelings about Gabby, I don’t like him. I think he’s a crybaby, doesn’t hold players accountable for their actions and shows poor sportsmanship HOWEVER is it his fault Varlamov and Neuvirth are giving up soft goals? No. Is it his fault guys like Semin and Ovechkin are carelessly turning the puck over? No. Is it his fault that we have injuries to our top 2 defensemen? No. The players have to be responsible for some of this and while I would definitely like to see Bruce hold more players accountable but it’s hard justify firing a coach who turned a bottom-dwelling team into a playoff contender.

I am finding it very hard to believe that he is out only because of a 7-game losing streak. Nevermind the fact that the team is still in first place, albeit only by one point. Yes, it’s alarming how bad the team has been playing for the past week or so but I don’t think Boudreau should lose his job right now because of it. I, for one, know this team will pull out of this rut sooner or later and the game against Anaheim tonight was a definite sign of that. Despite losing in OT, they played very well tonight against a hot Ducks team and showed a lot of great play in the neutral zone as well. It seems that Boudreau is trying to implement a new system and growing pains are expected but I’d rather have them learn now than in March. Just like I’d rather go through a tough losing streak now than in March.

My biggest problem with Boudreau other than his attitude is how he handles the shift times for the team’s top players, especially during the playoffs but judging from the reports of tonight’s game, he is addressing it. There wasn’t one forward who had an average shift length of over 45 seconds, which is a good sign. Whether he continues to do that during the playoffs or not remains to be seen.

As idiotic as Keith Jones’ suggestion was that the HBO cameras are what’s making the team play bad, I have to agree with his  point that “Boudreau isn’t going anywhere.” At least for now. Believe me, I was very close to jumping on the “fire Boudreau” bandwagon but I’m going to remain cool for now because when you think about it, the more you know that this team will pull out of this rut and be in the playoffs. How the team does in the playoffs will determine Boudreau’s job security, not a losing streak in the middle of December. Unless this streak turns into something catastrophic and we begin to fall out of the playoff picture, then things might be different but as of right now, Boudreau’s job is safe. It’s up to the team to turn things around now.

Get your laughs in at the Caps while you can because it won’t be for long.  🙂

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