1) In a move that almost everyone in the hockey world expected, the Washington Capitals were the second team to fire their head coach this season. Ironically the team(Atlanta) that was first, put the final nail into Hanlon's proverbial coffin with a resounding win at Verizon Center last evening.
2) Even before last night's game it was clear that a change was going to be needed. Though the players were publicly supportive of their now former coach, very few in recent weeks have put their words into action. The caps signature all out effort on every shift has been missing this year, and most clearly the past month. Last night was no exception, as the Thrashers seemed to move the puck at will, and the caps seemed to almost just be going through the motions. Even Alex Ovechkin, one of the few Caps who has not looked like he's quit, was off his game despite scoring his 14th for the teams only tally.
3) Those close to the team could sense that they were almost expecting/wanting this change to come. The usually jovial sextet's locker room had become a veritable morgue in recent weeks. The team as everyone expected promoted Hershey's(The team's AHL affiliate) head coach, Bruce Boudreau. It would also seem that he may be GM's George McPhee's final hire if the team doesn't significantly turn things around. Owner Ted Leonsis had been a strong supporter of the rebuild, which has been the teams position for the previous 2 1/2 seasons, but prior to this year Ted pronounced to fans on his blog that "The rebuilding is over". Meaning its time to not only show individual improvement, but for the team to show it in the standings. Thus far it has not. It would seem the playoffs for this season are a pipe dream. For the team to get to the anticipated necessary 92 points to get in, they'd have to go 39-21-1, a .639 clip in their last 61 games.
4) As was mentioned here this past Monday Hanlon was only one of several coaches who's jobs are on the line. We should add to that list Pittsburgh's Michel Therrien. Before the season we didn't think he was vilnerable, but so far the Pens have significantly underachieved, and Shero may not want to wait for the team to turn things around. Michel probably has only a few weeks at most left to show that the team is ready to rebound.
5) We want to wish our readers across the U.S. a very Happy ThankGiving!