as always it depends on the specifics. if this team gets green back in mid march and backstrom in early april and then make the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed. then win in the first round over boston or nyr and then lose a competitive 2nd round series, i'd say nothing major changes.
conversely if they miss the playoffs, hunter says he's not coming back and leonsis and patrick change gm's.
if backs and green dont return and they scratch into the playoffs, i doubt there are changes either. it needs to play out.
I partially agree. This team needs to do more than just make the playoffs. We need to do some damage for the management to be kept. A coaching change mid season is no defense against that either. Why? Because this is the 4th coach that GMGM has brought in that has had exactly 0 NHL coaching experience. 0 as not even assistant coaching on this level. He's forced us to live with it so now he has to die with it.
This whole idea that Green is the savior for the Caps transition game... to me that just means "our team is so flawed, we can't exit the damn zone without this guy in the lineup", and an open invitation to the other teams, especially in playoffs, to hammer Green mercilessly until he's rendered ineffective.
That just seems like a completely unworkable model.
It's been our model for four years. Just cause it seems dumb, doesn't mean it's not the case. What you describe is exactly what has happened, and exactly when we've struggled. The answer has never been more Hannans. It's been more Widemans.
Mike Green may or may not be the answer for the even-strength transition game, but he is 100% the difference for the PP. In the good BB years, as good as they were on O, the PP was their bread and butter. If Green can get that firing again, it would be huge.