The reviews are starting to come in on Bruce's coaching in the Pens series and some of them are downright ugly. I usually like what Kevin Dupont writes but I can't agree with his take which is basically that Bruce has outlived his usefullness. Without doubt, the Caps need to play a more defensive style to succeed in the playoffs, but I doubt that means they have to fire their coach to do that. Still, it's interesting to hear an outside opinion on the Caps situation, even if it's overly harsh:
The Capitals were atrocious in their Game 7, wiped out by the Penguins, 6-2, which left far too much blame pointed at rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov (yanked early in the second period). Sure, the 21-year-old stopper could have been sharper, but the Caps' overall attack, from start to finish, was a damn-the-torpedoes approach that lacked bench intelligence.
Could the Caps already have outgrown their let-it-all-hang-out-there coach? It might sound crazy, given how they've delivered during the regular season under Boudreau. But keep in mind, for different reasons the Penguins were asking themselves similar questions last June after Michel Therrien led them to the Cup finals. For all their success, they looked as if they needed something, or someone, more. Late in the season, GM Ray Shero finally ditched Therrien and now the Penguins are back in the Eastern Conference finals - having found clear passage around those Washington torpedoes.
Bruce Boudreau, who took over the Washington bench in November 2007, has had a lot of success since succeeding Glen Hanlon. But if he's going to move his slick bunch beyond first- or second-round KOs, he's going to have to install a defensive template that even his high-end trapeze artists can adhere to and still perform. There was no safety net in Game 7. Or at least no one paid attention to it. Either way, there's a problem.
Forget about yanking Varlamov. How about pulling back on the likes of Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, and getting the blue line crew to close down the defensive zone? Jordan Staal's goal at 11:37 of the second period made it 5-0, by which time Washington forwards must have turned the puck over at least 15 times. Horror show.-Boston Globe