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Do the Capitals need to make a change?

Karl Alzner

Washington Capitals’ Karl Alzner reacts during second period NHL hockey action against Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


To some, the Washington Capitals’ embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs is a cause for panic or at least serious confusion. It’s almost as if the hockey world forgot about the dreadful losing streak that coincided with the taping of HBO’s 24/7 series in 2010-11, although the Capitals seem to be under a harsher spotlight with each passing season.

So the big question is: should GM George McPhee pull the trigger on some sort of “big decision” before the Capitals take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday? Let’s take a look at some ideas.

Fire the coach: Should they give bellicose Bruce Boudreau the boot? My answer is an emphatic “No.” For every decision that gets second-guessed, the team keeps winning the Southeast Division and his bold moves have worked out fairly well in the big picture. (Katie Carrera reports that McPhee said no comment when asked for a vote of confidence regarding Boudreau’s job security ... take that whichever way you’d like.)

Plead with Mike Green to come back soon: For all the criticism that Green receives, the Capitals clearly miss him as an offensive catalyst. The team is now 2-7-1 with Green out of the lineup in 2011-12.

Lean on Neuvirth: Tomas Vokoun’s production is a bit down compared to his high-end individual numbers, but Michal Neuvirth has a 3.46 GAA and .877 save percentage in seven games played this season. So another big “No.”

Make a trade: Now this is an interesting idea, but McPhee shouldn’t make a trade for the sake of shaking things up. The Capitals have a ton of guys in the last year of their deals including Green, Vokoun, Dennis Wideman, Mike Knuble and ... Alexander Semin. If McPhee could somehow land a good second line center or fill another need, then maybe he should pull the trigger.

Overall, I think it pays to be patient. If a change is necessary, then I’d recommend a mid-level trade, though.