some of the things you say and feel about boudreau/the caps are just not backed up by the play on the ice. last season the capitals played a very structured system. VERY. the defensive numbers played that out. if after watching that, you think the caps were actually just winging it, then your prejudices are clouding your visuals.
the caps got trapped in their own end vs the penguins because, they had two or three defensemen skating on broken feet. remember that?
they nearly never got trapped in their own end vs montreal as that series was played entirely in the habs end of the ice.
the rangers forecheck was their bread and butter and even with that the caps spent only a marginal amount of time pinned in their own end. by the time the lightning had the caps pinned, wideman was gone, green and carlson were both injured. when your puck movers are out or broken down, that is what happens. when dump trucks like hannan and schultz are skating together and getting top 4 minutes, when one center is a rookie and arnott dragging a knee around that had just had surgery on it, you have a hard time getting the puck controlled behind your goal line.
this would be why mcphee has loaded up with puck movers rather than getting that big strapping stay at home so many people want and why hannan is gone.
I did not say the Caps had no structure. Last season, in particular, there was a push for defensive responsibility, forwards back checking and not leaving the zone early, helping out in puck battles in our end, etc. However, what I find lacking in BB's years here is more dynamic structure. In particular puck movement behind the blue line, in the neutral zone, and in the offensive zone. Last season's "structured" change was months of play in our end, puck cleared to restart a new opponent possession, or if we did have possession coming out coughing it up against their trap pretty quickly, usually with one guy trying to carry the puck himself.
I've always said, we are the ad lib team of the NHL. And when that doesn't work we have little to fall back on.
By definition ad lib means to improvise. improvisation is free all but the most basic structure. ad lib is the meaning of winging it. so, if you think the caps are the ad lib team of the nhl and you are saying they are not structured.
Are you saying you didnt mean that?
BTW....you also said that the last two playoffs the caps were consistantly pinned in their own end. That is false vs Montreal, false vs the Rangers and accurate vs Tampa Bay only after the mobile/puck moving defensemen were injured.
i think the caps record over the last ten years in the pacific time zone is brutal. the time zone thing probably carries a lot more weight than we consider.
I've always thought that the main reason that the Western Conference has a better record than the Eastern is that the West is much more accustomed to travel. In the East, all but maybe 8 games over the course of a year take place at 7pm Eastern time. These guys have internal clocks, and routines, and it can be hard to break those routines. We all remember Ovy talking about how the Caps are "sleepy" during matinee games. In the West, 30-40% of a team's games can take place at a time that is not 7pm local time. They are far more used to changing their schedule. They are used to the travel, the adjustments, etc. So when the two conferences play each other, the Western Conference tends to have more of an advantage than the Eastern Conference in their home games.