Alexander Ovechkin and his sidekick Alex Semin killed their coach.
Chalk one up for the bad guys. Bruce Boudreau had no chance after he benched Ovechkin
in the waning minutes of a recent game and the "Great 8" muttered an unflattering description
of his coach. The clock began to tick for Boudreau at that moment and his team's recent poor play made it easy for GM George McPhee to fire the coach
Boudreau's failing might have been in waiting too long to try to break the talented but undisciplined star. God bless him, he did try in the end, and it did him in. Whatever blame falls on the coach pales in comparison to the responsibility Ovechkin must shoulder. (I will not bother to talk Semin here. He is a lazy, overpaid talent not worthy of the time). It is time for the brilliant but playoff-challenged Ovie to grow up.
When the Caps signed Ovechkin to a ludicrously long-term contract, I am sure they expected that he would mature. He has not. And perhaps the very length of the deal as well as the dollars made him immune to change. In the light of playoff failure, of swirling rumours that his off-ice behaviour is questionable, and of his recent mediocre play, Ovechkin will now have to face up to the fact that he got the coach canned.
If he is smart, and I am very skeptical that he is, he will change. First to the room for practice. Last off the ice. Look at the video (and I don't mean Call of Duty
) Stop with the goofy commercials for a while. Try a move other than cutting across the middle from the off-wing. Study the power play and opposing defences. Keep shifts to a minute or less. And don't be seen in a bar until the season is over.
For Dale Hunter's sake, I hope Ovechkin gets it. For every fan's sake, I hope he gets it. If not, he will become a serial coach killer and the Caps will be trapped with a fatally flawed captain and team.
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