Bruce Boudreau

Boudreau on Western Conference travel: “This is ridiculous”


The Anaheim Ducks are only halfway through their toughest road trip of the season — an eight-game, 15-day, 7,700-plus mile odyssey through Detroit, Columbus, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina — yet head coach Bruce Boudreau’s already had enough of it.

“This is ridiculous,” he told the Orange County Register. “The East has no idea how lucky they are. And I think every team in the West should start with 10 points before the season starts.”

While grueling travel is nothing new to Western Conference vets — heck, the Vancouver Canucks have a sleep doctor on staff to combat endless time zone changes — it is to Boudreau, who spent the last four-and-a-half years with Washington.

“For a guy that’s played in the East or coached in the East as well, I don’t know how they do it,” he said. “I really don’t. It’s quite a testament to every team in the West’s character for not griping as much as I’m doing right now about it.

“You don’t even know what hotel room you’re getting into. You forget the hotel rooms and everything during the course of the day on this trip. It’s pretty wild.

“But it is what it is. You can’t use it as an excuse and you’ve got to keep going.”

The travel hasn’t affected the Ducks much — they’re 3-0-1 thus far while allowing just six goals — though that may have to do with a heightened sense of desperation. Anaheim has clawed its way back into playoff contention and is just eight points back of eighth-place Los Angeles with a game in hand.

That said, Boudreau knows there’s still a long way to go.

“When you have a four-game road trip in seven days, you’re coming home exhausted,” he explained. “We’re at seven days right now and this is just the halfway point in our trip.”

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.

PHT Morning Skate: Beat writers survey predicts Ducks will win Cup

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)

Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:

The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)

The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)

Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (

Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)