First Impressions of Hunter, Johnson, New System, etc.
Well with the recent (not so recent anymore) hire of Dale Hunter, I wanted to see some opinions on his first few games.
Myself I am very happy to see the increase in physicality and more playoff style dump and chase hockey. Johnson has also worked very well with our defense men and we are no longer spending 2+ minutes in our own zone. The direct approach Hunter gives his players has shown in our play and many of the guys have spoken to this including Alzner. Just some mini-observations I've had and I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks.
Only thing I'm not too sure about is basically playing with 5 d-men every game, but I think this will level itself out once Greenie returns.
Going to be honest with you. Other than the first two games, this is the same system we have been playing other than we are establishing the 2 2 1 trap better. The Capitals are giving a lot more effort in games these days for sure. On the other hand, we are still struggling to get the puck out of our own end and that's a matter of our personnel more than anything. We needed a change in coaches and we got it. Hunter is harder on the players and is a good coach for this team. Back in the old days, coaches and players were used to running three line systems during most of the game and two pair of defensemen for the later portions of the game. Hunter does this as well but gives the fourth line a few more minutes then it would have been in the old days.
The Capitals in my opinion still need to trade Semin for a top pair defenseman who can move the puck out of their own end. Or they should trade Semin for a gritty 20-25 goal winger and 2nd pair defenseman.
Man, I recall a lot of calling for Hunter's head when they had lost to Buffalo and seemed to be heading out of the playoffs. What happened? Where are all those "experts" claiming he was such a bad fit or wasn't doing anything right? They could still go on to lose this series with Boston but for the moment they look to be a playoff savvy team with a rookie goaltender getting great playoff experience. Things look pretty positive to me.
Edit: Kornheiser should be forced to wear a bag over his head for the rest of the week as well as every single other sports radio personality who found it en vogue to jump down Hunter's (and McPhee's) throat when it looked like they could miss the playoffs. Bandwagon, reactionary small-minded pea-brains desperate for an angle to sell radio time. The worst of the worst of hacks.
Last edited by John X Doe; 04-26-2012 at 10:27 AM.