Monday, June 22, 2009

Hershey Can No Longer Contain Bob Woods' Acumen

Another Calder Cup-winning coach is making the trip down the Hershey Highway.

The Caps have hired former Bears coach Bob Woods, filling the role vacated by Jay Leach. As such, Woods will, presumably, oversee the team's defense, which should give him a strong sense of familiarity with guys named Alzner and Carlson. You'll notice, he also has more hair than Bruce Boudreau.

But for those who wanted to see a more experienced, defensive guru hired to whip the team's occasionally-lackluster blue-liners into shape and preach accountability, this might not be welcome news; Woods has exactly zero games of NHL coaching experience.

Then again, Woods played defense throughout his pro career, so he definitely knows how to skate backwards, which means there's at least one thing he'll be able to teach Jeff Schultz. And his Hershey team ran the same style as Boudreau's boys, so there shouldn't be any issues with cohesiveness.

All in all, George McPhee is really pinning the upcoming season on how well AHL success translates to success in the NHL. It has worked, to a point, for Bruce Boudreau; are two Hershey heads better than one?


  1. I do like keeping the assistant job in house, but...

    Is Boudreau going to be looking over his shoulder if things start off slowly next year? Mid-season changes are the norm in the NHL, and have proven to be excellent motivators for teams playing below expectations (see: '07-'08 Caps and '08-'09 Pens).

    Boudreau's job is safe, but I'd never call it "untouchable".

    Let's just hope it doesn't come even close to that point.

  2. I think that it's been proven at this point that you can call up your AHL coach mid-season and, yes, win the Stanley Cup.

    What remains to be seen is whether or not you can sack your AHL-alum head coach and replace him with another AHL product. Is the conveyor belt method seamless, or are there going to be gaps?

    Going into this season, Boudreau's not on any kind of hot seat, but neither was Mike Therrien. If things were to go off the rails, would the answer definitely come from within? I have my doubts, considering the similarities between the two men from Hershey.


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