Amidst calls for Andy Reid to be fired in Philadelphia, another rotund regular season winner was shown the door in our neighbor to the south. The Washington Capitals have announced the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau, who will be replaced by former Cap Dale Hunter today.
Despite compiling a 201-88-40 record since taking over the team almost exactly four years ago, Boudreau has had little success in the postseason. So far in 2011-2012, with an assembly of players picked by many as the Stanley Cup favorites, Boudreau has coached the Capitals to a record slightly above .500, but that mark doesn't convey the soap opera that has been unfolding at the Verizon Center.
Also, although there are five months worth of games still left on the long NHL season, "just above .500" leaves the Caps as both the second place team in their division, only the eighth best team in the conference, five points ahead of second worst. There's a lot of time to get the team on track, but there must have been some fear that this talented team might actually miss the playoffs. And, even if they did make it, Boudreau had shown little ability to put it all together for a springtime run.
Boudreau wasn't the only NHL coach given a stay of execution over the Thanksgiving holiday only to be terminated today… TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that the Carolina Hurricanes have fired Paul Maurice and replaced him with Kirk Muller. Maurice both preceded and succeeded Peter Laviolette in Carolina.
Puck Daddy has a nice summary of the fall of Boudreau and the beginning of the Hunter Era in DC here.
Maybe Dale will have less time to troll now.
ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.
Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.
The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.
Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).
Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.
The Coyotes have won four of their last six.
Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.
Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).
Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.
After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.
Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.
"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.
"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."
Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below.
Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon.