In Adam Oates, the Washington Capitals undoubtedly got a popular players coach. It's hard to find someone who played under him with the New Jersey Devils or Tampa Bay Lightning saying anything negative.
Everyone knew the Washington Capitals needed a different approach when Dale Hunter announced he wasn't returning. Defensive, shot-blocking hockey had some success, and Bruce Boudreau's previous style of run-and-gun hockey had a little, too.
Balance is all well and good, and the Washington Capitals were excelling early this season when rolling through four lines. But when things went awry – eventually costing Bruce Boudreau his job – analyst Alan May said there wasn't enough emphasis placed on allowing star players like Alex Ovechkin do their things.
While many of the fans who came to Heinz Field to check out the Penguins-Capitals alumni game on Friday morning were looking to see the return of Pittsburgh's Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux to the ice, it was Capitals alumni Peter Bondra who scored on a shot just 0:42 left in regulation to lift the Washington alumni to a 5-5 tie with Pittsburgh.