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New Caps coach: “I don’t believe in run-and-gun hockey”

FILE: Washington Capitals Fire Bruce Boudreau, Hire Dale Hunter As New Coach

LONDON, CANADA - FILE: President and Headh Coach of the London Knights Dale Hunter looks on from the bench during the Ontario Hockey League game against the Barrie Colts at John Labatt Centre on November 5, 2004 in London, Ontario, Canada. It was reported that Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals and replaced by Dale Hunter November 28, 2011. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Claus Andersen

The Washington Capitals won’t be throwing all caution to the wind under new coach Dale Hunter.

“I don’t believe in run-and-gun hockey,” Hunter said today after practice.

According to the Washington Post, the Caps will be focusing on defensive responsibility under their new boss.

So much for a return to the freewheeling style that made the Capitals one of the most popular teams in the NHL.

Washington general manager George McPhee said earlier in the day that defense has been his team’s biggest problem this season.

“We’ve got to be good defensively,” McPhee said. “We haven’t been good defensively. That’s really my big issue right now. We’re just giving up too many goals.”

McPhee is right about that. The Capitals are surrendering 3.27 goals per game. Only Ottawa (3.39) has been worse at keeping the puck out of their net.