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Oates has found a nice balance between the often-freewheeling offensive style of Bruce Boudreau and the pack-it-in defensive style of Dale Hunter. And, clearly, he’s reached Ovechkin in a way Boudreau couldn’t do late in his tenure and Hunter never did in his brief tenure.

“Their goals for dropped almost a goal a game as they were trying to pursue being a better defensive team,” Button said. “Now their goals for is up and they haven’t lost anything on defense. To me, that’s coaching.”

Of course, if the Caps collapse and don’t get into the playoffs, you can say so long to both awards. Button doesn’t see that happening.

“I think it is the other teams that need to worry about the Caps, not the Caps worrying about the other team,” he said. “They are looking good.”