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By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
Topic - Dale Hunter
Putting the 27-year-old offensive superstar into all-around situations is what the Caps' coach called "part of evolving his game." Oates won't treat Ovechkin like a liability in one-goal games like Dale Hunter did. Instead, he relies on Ovechkin in all situations.
In last year's playoffs, Ovechkin saw as his ice time dip as low as 13 minutes and 36 seconds, even as he was scoring goals and helping the Washington Capitals win. That was under Dale Hunter, who put an emphasis on defensive play. Don't expect any of that from new coach Adam Oates, who could be the perfect guy to take Ovechkin's career back to superstar levels.
Each coach the Washington Capitals have hired in recent years has brought something different to the table. Bruce Boudreau made a moribund club exciting by teaching it, in almost Don Coryell fashion, to Unleash the Offensive Fury. Dale Hunter was brought in last November to instill toughness and responsibility, and the Caps' gritty play in the postseason suggests they've progressed in that area.
The Washington Capitals were on the clock to find a new coach since May 14. They needed a replacement for Dale Hunter, but general manager George McPhee was in no rush.
Once again, a Washington Capitals leadership baton is passed from Dale Hunter to Adam Oates.
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.
As Dale Hunter left his post as Washington Capitals coach, one thing was clear: He was going home, back to London, Ontario, and the Knights, the Ontario Hockey League team he co-owns along with his brother Mark.
George McPhee doesn't look like a man in a hurry. The vacancy sign has been up for a Washington Capitals coach for a month now since Dale Hunter's unsurprising departure, but the urgency to make a move before next weekend's NHL draft isn't there.
Mike Stancik played for the Washington Little Capitals from 2001-2003 when they were coached by ex-Caps defenseman Mark Tinordi. He remembers practice goalie Jarred Tinordi very well.
The fans who wildly cheer the team wanted Dale Hunter back. So did the players, firmly convinced that his way is the right way. Officials in the organization wanted Hunter back, too, enamored with his firm hand and no-nonsense approach.
Brooks Laich tried to convince Dale Hunter to stay as Washington Capitals coach. He joked that Hunter could have his house and he'd move into an apartment if that was necessary.
Dale Hunter is finished as coach of the Washington Capitals after less than one full season, telling the team he wants to return to his family in Canada.
For quite some time, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee tried to persuade former player Dale Hunter to return to the team as its coach. This season, McPhee finally got his man _ just not for very long.
In the minutes after the Washington Capitals' season ended Saturday night, coach Dale Hunter talked about how this particular defeat to the New York Rangers felt. "They feel all the same," he said.
Alex Ovechkin sat at his stall in full uniform, interviews long over. It wasn't hard to judge the look on his face; he was a defeated man after the Washington Capitals' season ended Saturday night with a 2-1 Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the New York Rangers.
After winning Game 6 back home, the Caps lost 2-1 in Game 7, and Hunter two days later announced he wouldn't be back.
Everyone knew the Washington Capitals needed a different approach when Dale Hunter announced he wasn't returning.