Our field reporter BobbyG:
Hunter is a Caps legend, a former Captain of the team who could help Ovie grow into the role. Hunter is a no-nonsense guy, well-known for his gritty style of play who will make very clear his expectations for the team in general and the team leaders in particular. He won't accept his team being out-hustled or out-worked by the opposition, so I expect to see the Caps consistently play a full 60 minutes and not fall into the habit of taking shifts or entire periods off. The Ontario Hockey League-leading team Hunter coached, the London Knights, are known for their swagger. IMO Hunter was chosen to bring some of that swagger--and a more disciplined work ethic--to the Caps. Hunter also is known for giving the stars of his OHL team the most ice time, so it will be interesting to see if Ovie's ice time is increased with Hunter at the helm.
Now back to you in the studio,
this is BobbyG.
Thanks, BobbyG. I think Dale Hunter could be the best thing for Ovi since Vancouver Olympics. There were a lot theories why Ovi is not the same guy he once used to be and I think the best answer was (and I don't remember now where I read it) that he lost his mental edge.
He was fading before our own eyes; Vancouver Olympics was to Ovi as a concussion to Crosby.
Here comes a new coach who is mentally mean and tough, and this could revive Ovechkin's career. Only time will tell, of course, but now there's something we can hope for.
Go Caps, go Ovi!