Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A class act departs

My last blog post, which I never posted, skewered Glen Hanlon and desperately called for someone, anyone to save this hockey team from its worst start in 26-years. GMGM finally decided to fire Hanlon after he and the Caps got booed non-stop during a 5-1 debacle of a game against Atlanta. It's been tough for me to write about, much less, watch the Capitals this season (and I still have many game tickets left) so I'm thrilled there's been a coaching change with Bruce Boudreau, AHL Hershey Bears coach, being named interim coach for the Caps.

Still...this coaching change makes me sad. I wanted Glen Hanlon to do well here. I heard GMGM's press conference where he told Glen that he really appreciated his service and what he did to develop the young guys playing on this team. To hear Hanlon's response that he knew the change had to be made and he honestly didn't know what he would do for the team in the Flyers game on Friday means Hanlon wasn't being delusional about the situation either. The coach lost this team somewhere.

But, I'd like to join GMGM in saying thank you to Glen Hanlon. I'll never forget that it was him who told Ovechkin that he had to learn how to play defense, too, if he wanted to be a true superstar in this league. Well, Ovie took that lesson to heart and has gone from playing minus-19 hockey last year to playing consistently plus-3 hockey this year. His defensive play is almost as fun to watch as his offense this year.

And, Peter Laviolette, the Carolina Hurricane coach, said he never took the Caps lightly because Glen Hanlon always made his team play hard whether they had the talent or not. This was particularly true up until December last season when the Caps played above their talent and us fans were thinking playoff potential until injuries and the flu took the wind out of their sails. But, it was a fun season to watch early on last season.

Finally, only Glen Hanlon would call his replacement, Bruce Boudreau after his first win against the Flyers to congratulate him. That's total class and shows how much Hanlon cares about this team.

So, thank you Glen and good luck landing on your feet. I know you will.

Let's go Caps!

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At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Ela said...

Great work.


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