Great read, glad to see you take up my question. I tweeted to point out the weight that everyone puts on coaches as a determining factor for their team's success -- if Caps were significantly improved post-Boudreau, then people would be rushing to sing Hunter's praises. Even though they're on the upswing as you described, I'm not sure it's enough to assign credit to Hunter. A team as good as the Caps can't play as terribly as they were forever.
But you're bang-on about him winging it. His first head coaching job parachutes him into a situation with a team in a seemingly uncontrollable tailspin -- what can he do? Cunneyworth is in the same spot with Mtl right now, but he's been assigned much more of the blame than Hunter (which is what I was hinting at with my original tweet).
The problem with both these teams, and why they attract this kind of questioning, is that they're not only bad but significantly underachieving (Caps more so than Habs). Credit for overachieving/underachieving squads is usually given to the coaching staff, rather than players.
But the Caps really do look uncoachable right now, regardless of who's behind the bench .. much like the post-Cup finalist Sens, who also had significant talent and a rookie coach.. And then burned through a handful of those rookie coaches (Paddock, Hartsburg, Clouston) before settling down.
From all I've heard about his potential, I hope Hunter doesn't suffer the same fate and I didn't mean to suggest in any definite way that the team's continued problems are his own. But they are his to deal with, and he'll be judged as a coach accordingly.
Last edited by BK_DobberNation; 01-12-2012 at 10:25 PM.