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Chimera throws his support behind Boudreau

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Chimera throws his support behind Boudreau

Nearly four years after he was fired as head coach of the Capitals and replaced by Dale Hunter, Bruce Boudreau is on the hot seat again.

Heading into tonight’s game in St. Louis against the Blues the Anaheim Ducks are 1-6-2 and Boudreau’s tenure in Southern California is about as stable as the San Andreas Fault, especially after the Ducks coughed up a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.

“You feel for anybody you know,” said Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, who played parts of three seasons under Boudreau from 2009-11. “Coaches are like kickers sometimes. You miss a kick at the end of the game and all of sudden you’re the worst person in the world.

“Coaches maybe take too much blame and sometimes they get too much credit. When you’re struggling it’s usually the coach (who gets blamed). It’s not always the coach. You’ve got to look in the mirror. They’ve got a great team. People didn’t pick them to win the Stanley Cup for no reason.

“Sometimes it’s easier to change one person than the whole team and that’s the unfortunate part of the business of being a coach. I think coaches know that when they sign up for it, but it still sucks when you know a guy personally and you know how good a guy he is and how much he cares. When you see that part of it you don’t want anyone to go through that.”

Boudreau’s blank stare after the Ducks’ collapse against the Stars was a familiar one. He had a similar reaction following the Capitals’ 5-1 loss in Buffalo back in November of 2011. Two days later he was fired.

“I don’t know … I’m at a loss right now,” Boudreau said after his team’s most recent defeat.

The Ducks close out their five-game road trip tonight looking for their first road win of the season (0-3-1) and already some are calling for Trent Yawney or Paul MacLean as possible replacements. (Or maybe Guy Boucher?)

Boudreau, whose team has scored just nine goals in nine games despite some mocking instruction from Teemu Selanne, understands.

"Look at our record," he told reporters in St. Louis., "Of course the level of urgency is as high as it can be.

"… Our sense of urgency is not like if we were 6-1. There's only so many points on the table in 82 games. If you look at what made the playoffs last year, you might just use that as a board here, then you'd have to start winning some games; they have to start putting some games together to be successful. There's 70-plus games left, but at the same time, if you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that's 47 wins for us right now, and that's not an easy task."

[RELATED: Trotz endorses Ovechkin as Hall of Famer]

 

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Second Round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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