Jeff Schultz was a healthy scratch again, proving that Dale Hunter sees in him what every fan has seen for 4 years now, absolutely nothing. Roman Hamrlik is also a huge bust. It seems like he aged 10 years this offseason and is constantly taking penalties or reacting slowly to the puck. I'm sorry to say it, but Ovechkin just hasn't been the same since he was suspended twice two seasons ago. He looks like a beaten man, exactly like what Boudreau looked like after his last game coaching the Caps. He's a man without answers. Guess who was supposed to be the man with the answers; Dale Hunter.
Now, I know it's early. The team has shown some promise since Hunter has taken over, but nothing consistent. At this point, it is far too early to start questioning Dale Hunter's ability to coach this team to the playoffs, but for me, it's time to see something out of this team. I love Dale Hunter as a player and a man, but I hope he isn't in over his head here. Coaching in the NHL is an entirely different animal than coaching 17 year old kids in the Ontario Hockey League. I don't know what this team needs in order to wake up. Does Ovechkin need to be a healthy scratch? Does Semin need to be traded? What about Vokoun? Something has to give, and maybe it's time to bring Holtby up and give him a shot. I bet he's dying to get a chance to prove his worth to Dale Hunter.
|What's he going to do next?|
But maybe this is what is needed for McPhee. Maybe he needs to be pushed to the brink in order for him to take the steps necessary to right the ship. Just maybe he'll trade Semin and Schultz away for a veteran, or a rising star with speed like Zach Parise.
Again, I have to reiterate that I know it's only mid December, but at some point everyone is looking for a lightning bolt to hit this team and zap it back to dominance. We're all waiting for something, that's for sure.