The Blues, for a change, are trendsetters in the NHL. Fire head coach, go on winning streak. Well, that's the plan in Washington and the Blues put that plan to the test tonight.
At 6:30 a.m. when Bruce Boudreau was still probably chewing on his first doughnut of the day, he got the short haircut ending his frustrating season with the Capitals. If Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin don't want to hustle and play hard for a jolly fat guy, maybe they'll want to for one of the craziest players in the last 30 years, new head coach Dale Hunter. When he retired from the Caps after 19 seasons, the team gave him the old penalty box.
So the Caps will have about 36 hours to adjust to their new coach who has spent the last 11 years as head coach of the London Knights, a Major Junior team that has produced some Blues prospects including Philip McRae.
Even though Brian Elliott was named one of the league's Three Stars for last week, won three games in a row, continues to lead all goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage, he will be riding the bench behind Jaroslav Halak. I'm not saying that's a bad decision, but it's one that is easily second guessed if the Capitals come out like gangbusters trying to impress the new boss. Semin could be everywhere tonight.
That's about it. Blues are moving up the standings with each win. They've only not gotten a point in one of Hitchcock's 10 games coaching the team. Tonight is an interesting test considering the situation for the opposition. All the pressure is on Washington.
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