Wherever Bruce Boudreau goes, talk of winning the Stanley Cup follows. Since the portly bench boss oversaw the Washington Capitals’ transformation from a sad franchise to a thrilling team that is of the league’s perennial threats, Boudreau has been a coveted head coach for teams looking to turn things around. He has never been out of a job long.
On Sunday night, Boudreau returned to Anaheim for the first time after spending parts of six seasons coaching the Ducks. He took the Ducks to the playoffs five times, once within one win of the Stanley Cup Final. But after his fourth straight Game 7 loss on April 28 of last year, he was fired for the second time in his career, only to be replaced Randy Carlyle, the man whose job he took over years earlier. One week later, Boudreau was scooped up by the Minnesota Wild.
Photo: Justin K. Aller
Bruce Boudreau began the 2011-12 season with his team as a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. In his last two seasons, he followed up a Presidents’ Trophy with an Eastern Conference regular-season title. Now, he had seven straight wins to start the year. A little over a month later, Boudreau, the fastest coach in NHL history to 200 wins, was gone. The man who resurrected hockey in Washington was replaced by two coaches who slowly bled the greatness out of the Capitals.
Just under four years later, Boudreau has found himself in a similar spot. Now the coach of the Anaheim Ducks, he had led his team to within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals the year before. But the start of the 2015-16 season was a catastrophe. His team scored 10 goals in the entire month of October. They finished the month with a single victory. Boudreau didn’t have any answers.
“I don’t know,” he said after his team threw away another game on October 27. “I’m sort of at a loss right now.”
This game meant nothing to the Washington Capitals, but for their opponent a Pacific Division title was on the line. Former Capitals bench boss Bruce Boudreau came back to Verizon Center for the first and only time this season, except for when somebody thought it was a good idea to send the Anaheim Ducks to the phone booth during a blizzard that kept me trapped on my street for four days.
The Mites on Ice played a better game than the Washington Capitals. They were probably playing for popsicles or something.
Anyway, the Caps didn’t score while Corey Perry tallied his 34th goal of the season and Nick Ritchie — rejected Jersey Shore character — tipped in his second of the year. Ducks blank Caps 2-0.
Photo: Christian Petersen
The Capitals know their first round playoff opponent, Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal, and Braden Holtby tied Martin Brodeur’s single-season wins record. Surely, that should mean that there is nothing on the line during tonight’s last regular season home game against the Anaheim Ducks, right? Wrong.
The Ducks come into Washington looking for two points, as that would secure them the Pacific Division title and the opportunity to face the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Philipp Grubauer is in the net for the Caps so Holtby will not be going for his record setting 49th win, unless something crazy happens. Again, everyone please just stay healthy.
More liveblog fun below tonight.
Proud parents of a superstar, rocking the Kris Kross look
Today marks the end of the regular season. Tonight’s game against the Ducks, a make-up game from the snowstorm, means precious little, but come tomorrow– that’s then the big show begins.
Let’s enjoy tonight for what it is– exhibition hockey against a good, fun team.
Puck drop at 7:30 PM. Coverage on CSN.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Washington Capitals||56-17-8||52.0%||101.2||22.2% (4th)||85.0% (4th)|
|Anaheim Ducks||45-25-11||52.9%||98.8||23.4% (1st)||87.1% (1st)|
This is Mitch. (Photo: Scott)
Hello. It’s tomorrow. The Washington Capitals just beat the Anaheim Ducks. It was fun.
The Caps were bad in the first period and good in the third period, which is to say they were the Caps.
Getzlaf scored like .000025 seconds into the game.
Hey, Andre scored. We like Andre.
Buncha stuff happened, but nobody scored. Out of rego, into overtime. Out of overtime, into biscuit bullets.
Caps beat Ducks 2-1 in the shootout. 102 points!
The hottest team in the league will play tonight, and it ain’t the Washington Capitals. The Anaheim Ducks have won 11 games in a row. They’re ranked higher than the Caps in 5v5 possession and penalty killing. (It’s a virtual tie on the power play.) Plus they’ve got Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. After a miserable start to the season, the Ducks are now exactly where smart people knew they’d end up, and maybe even a little higher than that.
The Ducks right now are my pick out of the West to make the finals*. Tonight the Caps will try to beat them on their own turf.
It’s a late game, 10 PM on CSN. I’ll be staying up with you, cracking jokes.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Washington Capitals||48-13-4||51.6%||101.7||23.8% (3rd)||84.5% (4th)|
|Anaheim Ducks||37-19-8||53.2 %||98.6||23.8% (2nd)||86.2% (3rd)|
The game between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks was originally scheduled to be played at the usual 7PM time slot. After concerns began to arise regarding a potential snowstorm that was set to hit the Metro DC area, it was pushed up to a 5PM start time in the hopes that they’d be able to squeeze 60 minutes of hockey in before everything shut down. Even that was overly ambitious, with the league ultimately putting the kibosh on the game entirely for the time being. Or so we were led to believe.
Turns it out it was all something of an elaborate hoax, and we were all just pawns in it. Well, except for me. Considering the game was actually set to be played in my bedroom the NHL begrudgingly accepted that I’d need to be in on it for the plan to be seen through fully.
The Washington Capitals already moved tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks up to 5 p.m. in an effort to get the game played before the worst of Winter Storm Stop-Naming-Winter-Storms hits the DC region.
But DC government officials aren’t happy with the decision. Chris Geldhard, the Director of D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management (thanks, @dee4077), brought the sass during a news conference this morning.
Hands off Beagle! We’re the only ones who are allowed to give him a hard time!
Low-scoring games suck, and that’s why the hockey gods gave us Ducks vs Caps with two backup goalies. Alex Ovechkin played out of his beautiful Russian skull.
Andrew Cogliano scored first, snatching a– get this– rebound off Justin Peters. Ovechkin wasn’t having any of that, so he tied it up off a faceoff. The Ducks went up again after Corey Perry beat Peters, who was totally screened. Again, Ovi wasn’t having any of that, so he converted an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.
That all happened in the first twenty minutes. Marcus “Joe Hanson” Johansson got a pretty goal early in the second to give the Caps their first lead of the night. Then the Caps put the Ducks in a two-goal hole as Alex Ovehkin set up Andre Burakovsky for another pretty goal.
In the third, Andrew Cogliano struck again, thanks to Jakob Silfverberg (who I adore), and we headed into the third period with a one-goal game. Yet again, Alex Oveckin wasn’t having any of it. He stole the puck in the defensive zone, carried all the way up the ice, and served it to Andre Burakovsky, giving the rookie his first multi-goal game and securing the win for Washingon.
Caps beat Ducks 5-3! Woo!
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.