Will Boudreau Outlast 24/7?

What seemed unimagineable two weeks ago is now a reality: Bruce Boudreau may not surive the entire 24/7 series. The way the team is trending, he might not even survive the road trip.

It’s not just that the team has lost eight straight games. It’s the fact that over the course of the streak, they’re playing worse and worse. Granted, the flu has circulated the locker room, but both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov are putting in lackluster performances between the pipes and defenseman Jeff Schultz is missing. But can those factors explain why the Capitals aren’t building on good habits when they do show them?

Loss number five to Colorado seemed to be a positive at the time, since the Capitals largely outplayed the Avalanche. Then they lost 7-0 to the Rangers the next day in an all-out embarassing effort.

Then, loss number seven to Anaheim Wednesday appeared to be another turning point as the Caps committed to defense, clogged the neutral zone and genuinely could have scored three more goals against the Ducks. Then they allowed the Bruins — another struggling team — to jump ahead 3-0 in the first period (in which the Capitals registered five SOG) en route to a 3-2 loss.

The fact that the Caps are putting together respectable efforts one night but apparently can’t muster the motivation or attitude to do it the next is a bad omen. It’s the kind of thing that happens to teams that don’t believe in what their coach is preaching.

Change in Washington is nothing new. It’s perfectly reasonable to think that, after three years and little playoff success, the team has tuned their leader out. Depending on what he Capitals do tonight in Ottawa, it’s not unreasonable to think that GM George McPhee would consider a change before Christmas.

At least it would make for fascinating television.

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