It’s always tough taking over a job where the previous person in that position did quality work and was fairly successful. There isn’t a lot of room for improvement. But that’s exactly what Capitals assistant coach Scott Allen did with the Washington Capitals penalty kill this season.
The Capitals announced back on July 25 that they had named Hershey Bears head coach Scott Allen as a new assistant coach for the Capitals. Allen replaced Scott Arniel, who took a new position closer to home with the Winnipeg Jets on July 3.
In his first media session with Capitals press, Allen said first and foremost he wanted to bring an aggressive style of play to the Capitals penalty kill.
“I’d like to keep it in the upper part of the National Hockey League, that’s for sure. I think the penalty kill, for sure, can be a difference maker, night in, night out, in the National Hockey League, especially,” said Allen.
“In the past I’ve been a big believer and a builder on trying to be fairly aggressive. It certainly plays into personnel. I think the Caps certainly have the personnel to play an agressive style.”
#Capitals new assistant coach Scott Allen breaking down game footage for one of his “101% Always” camps this morning. He meets with #Caps media at 2:30 today. #ALLCAPS (🎥: @101percentalways) pic.twitter.com/OnlRCMITr7
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) July 26, 2022
Allen indeed met the challenges with the penalty kill this season, and in the end, improved upon a good thing. The Capitals penalty kill currently sits 5th-best in the NHL at 82.6%. Under Arniel, the Capitals penalty kill was 12th-best last season at 80.4% and 8th-best the season prior at 81.9%.
Allen is grateful for his promotion to the NHL, but he doesn’t see his time spent along the way as paying his dues.
“It’s always a special feeling. It’s the best league in the world. It’s the best players in the world. It’s the only league you can win a Stanley Cup in. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the minors. People use the terms “paying their dues”. I don’t look at that for one second. I’ve been so fortunate and extremely lucky. I’ve coached the last 26 years straight through, in pro hockey, between the minors and the National Hockey League, from the beginning of the season to the end.”
There could very likely be changes coming to the Capitals coaching staff in the coming days, with some even leaving the team. It’s very likely Allen won’t be part of that exodus. What will his next role with the Capitals be? Stay tuned.
By Jon Sorensen
Allen, at minimum, will interview for next head coaching gig for the Capitals.
I think Allen will get serious consideration for head coaching job, but won’t get it this time, maybe after Ovechkin. Hopefully they can keep him around.
Allen deserves to be HC. However I hope that he does not get it now as being HC of a team that is, thanks to its owners decision that a record is more important that being good, will remain less than mediocre for the next 3 years. So hang tight Allen your time will come!!.
The way he talks during in-game interviews on the bench is evidence of his poise and ability to teach. If he’s not given the gig, then there’s a really solid chance that he’ll get poached before the next Caps’ HC gets fired.
Yep. I fear another Spencer Carbery type situation on the horizon.