Ever since Dale Hunter took over as coach of the Washington Capitals, the scrutiny he’s been under has been intense. Taking over for a popular coach isn’t easy and not being all that talkative with your players won’t help you earn friends.
The tweaks Hunter has made to the Capitals lineup of late, subbing in Jeff Halpern for Joel Ward and Roman Hamrlik for Dmitry Orlov last night, helped the Caps stay in eighth place in the East and beat the always menacing Red Wings.
As CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley hears it from Hunter, his changes are ones that just made sense.
“It’s hard (scratching Ward),” Hunter said. “He’s a good guy, but we thought we would have more faceoff help against (Detroit’s Pavel) Datsyuk and that’s why went with Halpy.”
Those little tweaks combined with the stellar play of late from Alex Ovechkin have helped make Hunter look a lot smarter of late. Hunter won’t get a break from the fans and media alike unless he gets the Caps into the postseason, but seeing the team seemingly turn the corner, finally, might mean things are getting right in Washington.