Capitals, ’Canes, fire coaches
The Washington Capitals on Monday fired coach Bruce Boudreau, who won 200 games faster than any coach in modern NHL history but stumbled regularly in the playoffs despite a talent-laden lineup featuring two-time league MVP Alex Ovechkin.
Boudreau was replaced by former Capitals captain Dale Hunter, who was scheduled to lead Monday’s practice and make his debut behind the bench Tuesday night when Washington hosts the St. Louis Blues to begin a three-game homestand.
Hired four years ago on Thanksgiving Day, Boudreau went 201-88-40 in the regular season with the Capitals but just 17-20 in the playoffs. This season he tried a new approach, emphasizing accountability and the willingness to bench his star players — team captain Ovechkin included — as punishment for subpar performances.
The Capitals started 7-0 — a franchise record for consecutive wins to begin a season — but have since slumped badly. They have lost six of eight, including a 5-1 beat-down Saturday night to a Buffalo Sabres team missing nine regular players. Ovechkin has only one goal in the last eight games.
The last-place Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Paul Maurice on Monday, the second time he’s been dismissed by the club.
The Hurricanes replaced him with former All-Star Kirk Muller.
Carolina dropped to 8-13-4 this season following Sunday night’s 4-3 loss at Ottawa and has lost 10 of its last 13 games.