Bruce Boudreau’s Ducks Are Flying High

Boudreau

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

The Anaheim Ducks have the best record in the NHL. Their coach, Bruce Boudreau, seems to have fallen up when he was fired by the Washington Capitals in 2011. The team has won nine in row, led by offensive stars Ryan Getzlaf, number three in league in points, and Corey Perry, number three in the league in goals. They have a good chance to win their second Stanley Cup since 2007. Monday night, they extended their winning streak with a comeback victory in Boudreau’s, Bob Woods’s, and Mathieu Perreault’s return to Verizon Center.

“Nine in a row: that’s pretty cool,” Boudreau told reporters after the game. “They were trying hard for the guys that were in Washington.”

For Boudreau, it was a surreal experience, plucked from the AHL’s Hershey Bears to lead the Capitals in 2007. More than anyone save for Alex Ovechkin, Boudreau is responsible for putting hockey back on the map in Washington. Without him, the Capitals wouldn’t have had their 202nd consecutive sellout Monday night. Without him, the team wouldn’t become the talk of the NHL. Without him, there may not have been any banners.

“Four and a half years — the greatest years of my life,” Boudreau said. “They didn’t put me on the board! Oh well.”

“I was a little surprised,” he concluded. “What can you do?”

Boudreau still has a soft spot for the Capitals. He watches their games and follows his old players. In his new gig, however, he may get the championship he always fell short of in Washington. The playoffs are a different type of hockey, but Boudreau’s new team plays a more all-around game then his squads in Washington. The Ducks are third in the league in goals per game, but — surprisingly for anyone who watched Bruce’s Caps teams — they also play defense.

“Bruce has done great things with us,” goaltender Jonas Hiller said. “Everybody really likes him here.”

“We just believe in ourselves right now,” he told me. “We come to the rink every night to want to win a game, not just come here not to lose, to see how things go. We want to win.”

  • Chris Cerullo

    The fact that he wasn’t shown on the big board at all really disappoints me. Even a 5 second showing during a TV timeout would have been fine. Perplexing to me.

  • RedRockingElla

    They should have welcomed him back properly. He did a lot for this team and this city. Really disappointed in Ted on this one, as I am sure the Caps entertainment probably doesn’t have the last word on this (but if they do, shame on them too!)

  • OlietheGoalie

    I think someone with power isn’t happy that Bruce is doing well.

  • OlietheGoalie

    If Bruce’s Ducks win the Cup it is going to be the happiest and saddest day of my life.

  • riggorules

    Seems odd, can’t imagine them being that insecure. Whatever the reason, mistake not to do it … not classy.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I agree. I hope it was just an oversight. Bruce is a good coach – I thought it was a mistake to fire him, and still do.

  • KK

    Did any of the Caps players acknowledge him? Several of them owe him a lot…

  • Jesse Morgan

    When the Predators came to town, Hendricks in the starting lineup got a pretty big cheer, i’m sure a little tribute to Bruce would have been well received.

  • Owen Johnson

    Wow, it’s like he’s a good coach or something.

  • Owen Johnson

    Agreed. Matty P will score the game winning goal in Game 7 too. I will be extremely proud and pissed off.

  • Shmoo

    Yeah, somehow that’s the last straw for me. I think I’m giving up my season ticket slot next year. If I have a compelling reason to get back in the building I will find a way. Playoffs aren’t much of a lure as it’s hard for me to muster enough belief to even be nervous and excited.

    I’m guessing a rousing “Gabby” chant was being avoided to mask the poor decision to part with the coach rather than the GM who dictated a new defensive team approach without a change in personnel and then promptly dismissed the coach when the players, particularly the captain who shouldn’t have been a captain until this season, revolted to the sudden change. Ever since that fateful decision we’ve been drifting.

  • John

    Don’t you all remember? Bruce was hated by all the capital players towards the end. Firing him was our only option

  • OlietheGoalie

    I still, to this day, don’t get why people say Ovie shouldn’t be a captain. He’s been the common sense one for our team for years now – and he often carries the rest of the team on his back through his strength, speed, and goals. Yeah, we don’t get far in the playoffs but it’s a team game.

  • Eric Schulz

    Don’t we remember something that never happened? Nope.

  • Eric Schulz

    It’s because people are intellectually lazy. If a team doesn’t win the Cup after 3 or 4 great years, it’s time to find a reason, and bad luck isn’t an acceptable reason (nor is 3 straight years of rookie goaltending… for some reason). Ovechkin is the face of the franchise, so it’s clearly up to him to lead us, which he didn’t do. Who cares that he led all active NHL players in PPG in the playoffs? He needs to do more… I guess.
    If he scores goals but doesn’t win a Cup, clearly he’s a selfish player who hurts the team… therefore he isn’t a leader. I don’t need to be in the locker room to know what type of leader he is, and it’s a bad one… I guess.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I imagine a lot of them talked to him before the game or during warm ups, but not when cameras were on.