Bruce Boudreau met with the Minnesota media on Tuesday to discuss his teams status while Pominville and Parise are in isolation. The presser turned into a quote factory from Boudreau.
Former Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau was a second-round draft pick by the Leafs, a Calder Cup-winning head coach in the AHL, and a successful bench boss in the NHL. Yet he might be best known for a 15-second cameo he made in the cult-classic movie Slap Shot.
Next Wednesday, the NHL will debut a documentary entitled Slap Shot at 40, which features interviews on the film’s enduring popularity. Boudreau will be a big part of that special along with the Hanson Brothers, Bob Costas, Ned Dowd, Adam Oates, Mike Gartner, and many others.
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.”
Photo: Marianne Helm
Last week, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin slept through practice. Barry Trotz punished the forward by scratching him for that night’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
“It was suck,” Ovechkin said to the media at the time.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, this isn’t the first time in recent history that a Capital has missed practice.
Saturday night, I watched in horror as the Anaheim Ducks lost in game seven to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. I, the sadistic Caps fan that I am, was rooting for Bruce Boudreau to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals because of how much he did for this area while he coached Washington and Hershey. Instead Bruce’s team collapsed in another big game. He was so tantalizingly close.
Pro Hockey Talk described Bruce’s futility in game sevens, and it’s pretty much the most depressing thing you’ll ever read.
Willie Desjardins of AHL’s Texas Stars is one of the best coaches not currently in the NHL (Photo: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The common thought among Capitals fans is that the team’s new coach must have NHL experience. The Caps last five hires — Adam Oates, Dale Hunter, Bruce Boudreau, Glen Hanlon, and Bruce Cassidy — were all rookie head coaches. This time around, names like Barry Trotz and John Stevens are getting a lot of buzz, whereas Willie Desjardins and Phil Housley are getting little.
Experience matters. All other things being equal, you should hire the guy with more experience, but that does not mean the Caps should discount what a rookie coach might bring. Because if a coach’s best quality is his experience, that’s not a great sign.
Photo: Chris Gordon
After this season, with the futures of Adam Oates and George McPhee in doubt, many wondered what the relationship was like between the two men. There was good reason to. During Oates’s administration, McPhee made two major offensive acquisitions: Dustin Penner and Martin Erat. While McPhee talked up both players as top-six powerhouses, Oates never gave them significant minutes on the top two lines. During his final press conference as the Capitals general manager, McPhee declined to talk about whether there was a row with Oates.
“I don’t want to talk about individuals because when you do that you either miss somebody that you should be praising and people get upset, and I just would rather have a happy day and duck individual talk,” McPhee said, adding later that Oates’s firing “was unfortunate for Adam because it was a short tenure.”
However, McPhee heaped praise on Bruce Boudreau, a coach he personally fired, and Dale Hunter, whose departure led to Oates’s hiring.
On Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars’ DJ trolled the Anaheim Ducks by playing the Duck Tales theme late in the third period, when the Stars were up 2-0. On Wednesday, two Stars fans took it to another — and stranger– level by coming to the game dressed as furries.
To the joy of literally everyone, the sat along directly behind Bruce Boudreau. Oh, and they had props. Because hockey needed more props.
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.