Capitals fans need a reality check

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CapsFans.pngIt’s amazing what is happening in Washington. The Capitals and Alex
Ovechkin have been able to turn the D.C. area into a thriving, intense
and absolutely crazy hockey town. In fact, it’s generally considered
that the Verizon Center is the most exciting place to watch a hockey
game. The fans are loud and boisterous, and think of some of the
greatest and most inventive ways to show their fanaticism.

The
Capitals do their part as well. Out of 34 home games this season, the
Capitals have lost just nine — only five of which were in regulation.
That means that 85% of the time fans go to a home game, they’ll watch
their team get at least a point. There’s absolutely nothing for them to
complain about.

So imagine my surprise yesterday while watching
the Capitals host the Flames when boos rained down on the team from the
stands, as the home team entered the first intermission down 4-0.

There
is not team in the NHL that deserves to be booed at home less than the
Washington Capitals. I understand that it was a rough period for the
team on Sunday afternoon, against the Calgary Flames no less, but in the
course of a season it’s going to happen to a team. There are going to
be games where the other team just happens to play better.

The
fact that it hasn’t happened very often for the Capitals does not make
it right to boo them when it does. Coach Boudreau was just as shocked as
I was.

“When you’ve lost four out of 35 at home, give the guys at
break,”
Boudreau said in his postgame press conference. “I could see it if we
were doing this on a regular
basis.”

Be thankful for the times when you have an insanely
dominant team, and support them in any and every way possible while you
can. It’s not going to last forever. This is a team that is one of the
most dominant teams we’ve ever seen in the NHL, and you boo them after
one bad period? Nevermind that the Caps were able to come back and
actually make it a good game, before eventually losing 5-3.

The
Washington Capitals have had a four-goal deficit for less than ten
minutes — total — all season long. TEN MINUTES out of more than 7,500.

Yep,
that’s boo-worthy.

Ulf Samuelsson leaves Rangers, takes Carolina’s AHL gig

Ulf Samuelsson, Alain Vigneault
Getty Images
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The ‘Canes made a fairly big coaching splash on Tuesday, announcing they hired New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson to become the new bench boss in AHL Charlotte.

“Ulf has built a very strong coaching resume during a decade behind the bench in the AHL, NHL and Swedish league,” Carolina GM Ron Francis said in a release. “He has a proven history of helping to develop young players and understands the organizational culture that we are building here.”

Samuelsson, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Francis in Pittsburgh during the 90s, has spent the last three seasons as Alain Vigneault’s right-hand man in New York, helping the Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Final in ’14 and the Eastern Conference Final last season.

Prior to joining the Rangers, he spent two seasons as head coach for Modo of the Swedish Hockey League.

Samuelsson will replace Mark Morris in Charlotte, after Morris accepted the head coaching gig at St. Lawrence University. Morris had only been on the job for one year, having inherited the position from former ‘Cane Jeff Daniels.

Report: Marleau won’t face supplemental discipline for hit on Rust

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It sounds like Patrick Marleau won’t be suspended for his hit on Penguins forward Bryan Rust (top) in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

After the game, Marleau told reporters that he was pretty confident he wouldn’t be suspended and it sounds like he’s right.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t see things the same way.

“It’s a blindside hit to the head,” he said. “[Marleau] gets a penalty and I’m sure the league will look at it.”

Marleau was given a two-minute penalty for an illegal hit to the head on the play.

Rust played a single shift after taking the hit, but he went to the locker room after that and didn’t return. Sullivan said he’s day-to-day. It’s unclear if Rust will practice with the team on Tuesday.

Former Flyer Rick MacLeish passes away at age 66

MacLeish
Flyers.nhl.com
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Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Rick MacLeish passed away on Monday night. He was 66-years-old. The organization confirmed the news early Tuesday morning. MacLeish was battling meningitis as well as kidney and liver problems, per Philly.com.

“With the passing of Rick MacLeish, the Flyers have lost one of their legends,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a release. “A good father, grandfather, teammate and friend, Rick will be missed by all who were fortunate to come and know him over the years. His happy and friendly demeanor was front and center everywhere Rick went. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Rick’s wife, Charlene, his daughters, Danielle and Brianna along with his grandchildren. May he rest in peace.”

MacLeish first put on a Flyers jersey during the 1970-71 season. He would go on to score 349 goals and 759 points in 846 NHL games with Philadelphia, Hartford, Pittsburgh and Detroit. MacLeish also scored what is considered to be the most important goal in Flyers history when he netted the opening goal in Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final against Boston. The Flyers would clinch their first Stanley Cup that night.

He won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Flyers and was named an NHL All-Star three times in his career.

PHT Morning Skate: Nick Bonino has been pretty clutch this postseason

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Pascal Dupuis wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune.

Matt Cullen also wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune called “Hockey Dad”.

Dainius Zubrus is making his third trip to the cup final, but he still hasn’t won one. (Puck Daddy)

–Watch the highlights from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. (Top)

–Here’s the Punjabi call of Nick Bonino‘s game-winning goal. (Streamable)

–Speaking of Bonino, he’s been pretty clutch this postseason:

–The NHL still wants to play an outdoor game on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Ottawa Sun)