"Bruce did a terrific job with us ... but when the players aren't responding, you have to make a change. Bruce poushed every button he could push. It worked for awhile. It's not working now."
McPhee went on in saying "I didn't like some of the things I saw in training camp or in pre-season. When you see what I saw, you have to make a decision. You can't look the other way."
And on Alex Ovechkin ... "I don't think this has anything to do with Alex Ovechkin. I think this has everything to do with our team is not playing well."
On new Caps coach Dale Hunter ...
Of other notes by McPhee ...
McPhee pretty much stated that Alexander Ovechkin will remain the Caps captain. Shouldn't that be Hunter's decision? Maybe it was. Second, an interesting remark is that McPhee had been talking to Hunter for about a week. I am assuming that may have begun after the humiliating 7-1 loss to Toronto.
The three things to watch closely:
1. How will Alex Ovechkin respond to Dale Hunter? There is no doubt Ovie is slumping. It could be line formation, system, and ice time related. It could be Alex's lack of adaptation to defenses adapting to him. It could be laziness. It could be a combination of all. Irregardless, it will be interesting to watch how he responds to a tough minded coach and how that tough minded coach handles Ovechkin. Wonder what difference we will see on the power play in terms of Alex? Finally, do we see Alex's ice time increase?
2. How will Hunter hand that goal tending duties with Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth? In my opinion, alternating games is not the answer. You have to allow your goal tender to get into a groove.
3. Hunter is a defensive guy. McPhee was very candid on his disapproval of the Caps poor defensive play. It will be interesting to watch defensive adjustments made by Hunter and defensive roles and pairings we see tomorrow night.