Just about everyone has an opinion on how Alex Ovechkin can improve his play. One voice worth paying attention to though, is the guy who knows Ovi better that almost anyone else: Bruce Boudreau, his coach for a better part of five years. On Saturday, Boudreau, now the bench boss of the Anaheim Ducks and a playoff analyst for CBC, finally offered his thoughts during HNIC’s coverage of the Caps/Bruins game.

Boudreau Pre-Game

On Ovechkin’s hitting game:

I would rather have him, quite frankly, not engaging as much. He can hit, he’s not going to get hurt. He’s too big and strong. But when he starts focusing on hitting, he doesn’t focus on scoring. He’s engrained such that ‘if you hit me, I’m going to hit you.’ It’s tough not to do. [If you tell him not to he says,] ‘I can’t. I am who I am.’ I’ve seen him in battles with Chara or Douglas Murray, these big, big defenseman and they hit him and he says I’m going to get them back. And we used to say if you hit him, beware because you’re going to get it twice as hard back but if he avoids them a little bit, I’d think it’d be better for him.

On Ovechkin’s propensity to take long shifts:

I really looked at his ice time a lot, but a lot of times and like a lot of the stars do, you play the point on the power play, you play two minutes so it really adds into your average shift length. And people at the end they look and they say well he’s averaging a minute and two seconds a shift, but if you have five power plays and you’re on for all two minutes it really adds into it. When he’s regular strength he’s pretty normal with the shifts.

Boudreau During Overtime Intermission

On the Chara/Seidenberg matchup:

Never. No, he won’t wear down. The player — Seidenberg in this case — that has to play against him, if he makes a mistake and Ovi’s coming down the boards, Ovi’s going to make him pay. He’s got to play perfect hockey. Ovi’s not a hard guy to read. He’s going to cut into the middle or he’s going to stop and pull up. The one play that Seidenberg did have he made. It looks like he was checking him so easily because he knew exactly what he was going to do. But if he makes a mistake Ovi will to take it to the net and he’ll get a good chance to score.

S/T to @Canada_Gill for both videos.

  • http://twitter.com/CapitalsCenter Capitals Center

    Ah we miss you Bruce. 

  • Cpt Giggles

    You lie…. haha

  • IamGreat31

    Glad he didn’t badmouth him to hell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryantpthomas Bryant Thomas

    When asked “Will Ovechkin ever wear down?” Bruce Boudreau simply chuckled, and replied “The Russian Machine never breaks.”

  • Eric

    Bruce’s expression when they mentioned Schultz… Heh.

  • Drew

    I hope Bruce comes back towards the end of Ovie’s career and leads the caps to a cup!

  • Mesam

    Yeah…come back, Bruce!

  • Pattyo

    Really awesome to see positive things said about our captain on TV… That’s rare these days!

  • Dfgdfgdf

    I love Bruce!

  • http://twitter.com/DoubleRo Roger Coelho

    As much as I love hearing good things about the Caps on national TV… BB’s offense first mentality is what doomed this team in the playoffs last few years. Hunter has these offensive stars playing defense and playing tough… Which is what is needed to win this series against the Bruins and TT. Boudreau would have tried to out offense them and would have lost. 

  • Flynnie321

    Thanks for the links.  Pure gold!  Vintage BB.   Defends Nicky trying to get the puck deep, remembers “the things that drive you nuts” like Semin trying to go 1 on 4 because  “When you’re a great player, you think you can deke” everybody.  But the best thing is when he’s asked asked “Will he wear down?”  BB: “Who?”  Q: “Ovechkin.”    “Never.  No, he won’t wear down.  If anything, whoever’s playing against him, Seidenberg in this case, he’s got to play perfect hockey, or OV’s going to make him pay.”  And then his description of Holtby’s taciturn personality – “You goalies- you’re nuts!” – and how he wants players to talk to him.  BB countered the tenor of the broadcast, which could be summed up as “The longer this goes, the Caps are in trouble.”  Turned out he’s right.  And he loves the guys he coached.  It’s as if firing him had no effect on him.  Pure class and an inspiration to us all. 

  • http://twitter.com/Dara_Laine Dara Goldberg

     seriously. can we get that in a gif?

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