Just three days after being eliminated in game five by the New York Islanders, the Capitals announced that they have released Head Coach Todd Reirden.. SAY WHATTTTT?! It actually happened. I don’t want to sit here and say Caps Twitter was the driving force behind this, but come on… Caps Twitter straight up UNLEASHED THE FURY on Todd all playoffs, so someone HAD to see right?! Doubtful, but maybe, but here’s whats most important about all of this… GMBM made the correct decision, and wasted no time doing so.
Yes, the correct move was made by releasing Todd, but the biggest question remains of will we make the correct coaching decision moving forward? Look, there’s no denying that our core is coming to it’s end. Ovi, Backy, Carly, you name it.. we’re getting older, our team is getting older, and our window of cup runs is closing fast. Here’s the biggest thing I think this team needs to do, and i’ll briefly touch on it since this is a blog about our ole’ buddy Todd. We need to get younger, and we need to use the young talent in our organization sooner rather than later. We’re looking at a massive rebuild in the next five years or so, when we’ll be seeing the veterans Tom Wilson and Jakub Vrana lead this team, but here’s why we need to get younger and why we need to do it now, to avoid the overhaul of a full rebuild. Start to mix some young bucks in to play under Ovi and Nicky these last few years, so they can step up and make an impact once this roster is blown to shreds. BUT, back to creepy uncle Todd. And side note too – settle down with everybody kissing the ground that Trotz walks on. A lot of you saying we never should have fired him or let him walk (which, actually never happened so maybe do your research) were wanting him fired MULTIPLE TIMES during the 17-18 season, including during the playoffs. So enough with all this “he’s the greatest coach ever” nonsense.
The Issues at Hand
Here are the biggest issues i’ve had with Todd, personally, as in my opinions. I’m not an NHL coach, but i’m intelligent, know the game, and have coached at some high levels, so fuck you and any issues you find with what I have to say because I know more than you and your never playing hockey, only been a Caps fan for eight years ass. Sit down and listen. I’ve seen a lot go down on Twitter breaking down Todd… some of it’s absolutely stupid and makes no sense, but some people actually make sense, so s/o to both of you dummies and intelligent people. We need you both on Twitter.
Be a guy that takes responsibility. This was a big one for me. As a head coach, not matter what level, you HAVE to put it on yourself. It’s on you if the team doesn’t show up and play well – you gotta be the motivator. It’s on you if we’re taking bad penalties – a coach can change this, i’ve done it myself, i’ve seen it done from other coaches, but you have to change it, and you can change it, especially at the highest level. Here’s a few examples of how Todd responded to media after losses in the playoffs this year:
Post game quotes for Todd are rather easy to predict. It’s a “we didn’t raise our game” or “we didn’t get to the level I know we can play at” blah blah bullshit buddy. It’s on you to get the team to the level they need to be at. And if we lose, and lose embarrassingly? That’s on you, and not once did we ever hear Todd take any blame. Give me a coach like Rod the Bod.
Have you ever, and I mean EVER, heard Todd say anything along these lines? When you take the blame, own up to your mistakes, and take responsibility for your teams lackluster performance and immediately say you’ll make the changes cause you love your team and they deserve better? That’s called a winning ingredient, and when a coach will step up like that, the players respond, like this:
I don’t care if you hate the Canes or hate Rod or whatever, that is a prime example of the perfect match of coach and players. Respect goes both ways, they both push each other to do better and be better, and the players love their coach and do whatever it takes to be successful for their coach. When you see something like this, you know everyone is bought it, on the same page, and pushing for the same goal and doing it by committee.
Adjustments… or lack thereof. This really grinded my gears man holy hell. Adjustments are such a huge part of the game of hockey. Between games, yes. In game? YES x10000000. Especially when there are such glaring issues like the one we faced in the playoffs, lack of scoring in general, but mostly at 5v5. This team is stacked talent wise, and there’s no excuse for not scoring more than two goals in a game except for one, and getting shutout in game five. TWO PLAYERS scored 5v5 in the series for us with Ovi and Kuzy. Top guys like Vrana, Osh (outside of the PP) Wilson, etc couldn’t generate anything, and there was nothing, not a peep from the bottom six, including a guy by the name of Kovalchuck who we brought in for depth scoring and to reignite his scoring flare. Nothing, not a thing from any of em. And what did Todd do all series?
LOLOLOL, yeah, he looked at things, BUT DIDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING. We saw it in the round robin even, where scoring and generating offense were a big struggle for us. In Both the Philly and Boston games we didn’t register a shot on goal in the first nine minuets of the game. That’s bad, very bad when you look at our lineup. The only change from game one to game two was Eller and Backstrom, obviously with the Tiger coming back and Backstrom being inured. Whatever, I get it, we had a 2-0 lead and squandered it, is what it is. Game two to three? Pinho debuts on O, and we bring in Fehevary and Gudas for Kemps and Seigs. Ummm, okay, sure, let’s see what happens. Games three to four? Nothing, absolutely nothing. UMMMM we are down three games to none, having trouble scoring, AND WE AREN’T MAKING A SINGLE FUCKING CHANGE IN THE LINES?!??!! Well, fantastic, we win game four after being down two rip, but guess what, it’s the Ovie and Kuzy show and that. is. it. Games four to five? Backstroms back, yay! So we shove him on the third line and don’t make a single change to the top six. Again, WTF ARE WE DOING?! Dude, like a this point you’re trying to lose. Make some type of change. A lot of people said the Backy on L3 was to get Kovy going. Shut up. Kovy was never gonna get going, and if he was, it would have only be possible with an 8-92-17 line, which we did for about six shifts in Kovy’s tenure here, right after PK’s usually too. The in-game adjustments came for 2-3 shifts at a time. Todd would shuffle lines around the last five min of the second period each game (if he did any shuffling at all) and come the start of the third? Lines right back to the same as the start of the game. A shift or two is nowhere near the sample size a line should have if you’re trying to evaluate changes to see what might work.
The complaining and dumbfounded faces when things go wrong. This is just something that irked me his entire time in DC, regular season or not. The bench demeanor was always the worst in my opinion. Caps take a blatant, really really stupid penalty that is obvious? Here’s the reaction.
Who us? Me? Couldn’t be! Like this got out of hand, where it was always a question of how tf did we get a penalty?! Enough with that nonsense, and figure out how to stop 100 stick infractions a game from happening. IDK about everyone else, but to me, a coaches demeanor on the bench rubs off onto the players. Here’s some other gif’s of Todd looking confused about things.
At the end of the day, Todd’s out after two straight first round exits with a very good Capitals team. Booted by the Canes in game 7, yet were outplayed in five of the games. Followed by an awful showing in the bubble and being dealt a gentleman’s sweep by the hands of former coach Barry Trotz. I can’t find the tweet, so don’t quote me exactly on this, but three coaches that were hired by the Caps and didn’t win a playoff series their first two years were canned, so the writing has been on the wall for Todd to get the boot.
Well, as I mentioned at the top of the blog, the decision on who the next coach will be is a massive one. I guess one reason as to why that’s possible is…
Oh god, this is the last thing you want to hear our GM say. That basically the team is falling apart in certain ways. OHHHHHH no. Here’s the thing, take our time with this. Granted, I know it’s gonna be a quick turnaround as we’re looking at next season starting around December 1st, which is not that far off. But, make the right choice, talk to the right people, and go from there. We’re an experience group, and I think that calls for an experienced coach who is ready to take on the challenge and help get Ovechkin and this franchise it’s second Stanley Cup within the next three years.
Now, time to turn and take a look at Ted, the money man, and he’s gonna have to open the checkbook for this one in my opinion. Spend the money, get the guy we NEED, the guy the players WANT, and the guy that’s gonna make an impact immediately. Ted really can’t afford to fuck this one up either, if GMBM want’s a guy and Ted doesn’t wanna pay, then what are we to do honestly?
There are a lot of choices out there, but four names really seem to keep getting brought up. Bruce Boudreau is one of them. If you stan Bruce and want him back, simply go into a corner, turn your brain on, and re-evaluate every decision you’ve ever made in your life. The next is Mike Babcock. If you want a guy that was canned for bullying his players, manipulating them against each other to “light a fire under em” and was just a complete clown once we heard everything come out about him, then you, yes you, also need to turn your brain on and re-evaluate this thought. I do not see him meshing with this group what so ever. Like, no chance, you think Ovi is gonna sit there and let this guy berate him and the team? Scratch Babs off the list.
There are two names that do sound rather interesting, but only one i’m 120% all in and want nothing more but to sign, and thats Gerard Gallant. I think he’s such a great coach, a proven coach, and should have never been shipped out of Vegas. Here’s a a guy that can come in, take a proven, veteran, experienced group, design a recipe for success and fully put the pedal to the metal with this group and get us to the promise land. I would almost guarantee if we give him a three year deal, we’re making another cup appearance. GUARANTEED. The other name is Peter Laviolette. I wouldn’t hate this, but wouldn’t love it. Just knowing him and as long as he’s been around and knowing the type of teams he likes and build and how they play… idk man, just don’t see that as a a great fit for this current Caps roster. And look, if you came here expecting a massive breakdown of all four of these coaches and why they would and wouldn’t work, that’s for another day. Go enjoy your Sunday. Next season will be here before we know it, and we’ll be excited about it with a new coach behind the bench to right this ship.
Here’s GMBM’s conference call from earlier today if you wanna watch the entire thing, and I highly recommend you do.