Bruce Boudreau

Slumping Ducks ‘still make the same mistakes,’ says Boudreau

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To hear Bruce Boudreau explain it, Monday night’s 3-1 loss to Toronto was deja vu all over again.

“We went over everything,” Boudreau said, per the L.A. Times. “Everything they do, we went over. Then, we still make the same mistakes.”

The 3-1 loss to Toronto was Anaheim’s third in a row and sixth in its last 10. Boudreau described his club’s recent play as a “funk” and, judging by the schedule, it’s easy to see when the funk started (which sounds like a Bootsy Collins lyric, but I digress):

— On Jan. 15, the Ducks pounded Vancouver 9-1 for their eighth straight victory, putting them at 36-8-5 on the year and first in the NHL.

— Since then, the Ducks have gone 7-7-2 and a startling 4-6-2 at the Honda Center, a place where they normally terrorize opponents (remember, Anaheim started the year 20-0-2 at home).

A big reason for this failing? The power play. A unit you’d expect to thrive with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry has failed to click of late, scoring just once in its last 19 opportunities. Offense in general has been an issue for the Ducks since the beginning of February, as they have 19 goals in nine games — an average of 2.1 per.

All that said, don’t expect the Ducks to keep struggling.

The schedule maker was very kind to Anaheim with regards to the stretch drive, as the Ducks play the majority of their games against teams on the outside of the playoff picture. That includes five contests against the Alberta teams (Calgary x2, Edmonton x3), two against the Canucks (who the Ducks are unbeaten against and have outscored 16-5) and single affairs against Washington, Florida, Winnipeg and Nashville.

Ducks coach Boudreau fastest in modern era to 300 wins

Bruce Boudreau
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Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau joined lofty company in the annals of coaching last night.

When the Ducks knocked off the St. Louis Blues, Boudreau earned his 300th career coaching win. By getting it in his 496th career game, he became the first coach in the modern era to do so before reaching 500 games.

The previous record holder? Hockey Hall of Famer Toe Blake who won his 300th game in his 525th game. Boudreau was also the fastest to 200 wins, but he was fired after losing his next game.

Things are likely going to turn out better this time around for Boudreau, but he was rather humble about his accomplishment last night.

Boudreau has more wins ahead of him as the Ducks are atop the Western Conference and hold a seven point lead on the Sharks in the Pacific Division.

Boudreau happy Ducks won ‘man’s game’ vs. Kings

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The Anaheim Ducks managed to grind out a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings in a game physical enough that you might call it black and … Dodger Blue.

No doubt, Bruce Boudreau was impressed with his team’s play and the highly contested matchup.

“I know every time we play this team, it’s a man’s game,” Boudreau said. “You better be prepared to hit, and be hit, because they’re so good.”

The Ducks coach notes that his team registered 48 hits, which he claims is a franchise record.

“That was a playoff hockey game,” Mark Fistric said.

This served as a preview for Saturday’s 2014 Stadium Series game between the two teams at Dodger Stadium. Let’s hope the two teams aren’t too bloated from this appetizer two nights from now, then.

Boudreau: ‘You don’t want to ever intentionally embarrass another team’

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With their winning streak and a bombastic 9-1 victory in mind, the Anaheim Ducks could be justified in bragging a little bit after Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, head coach Bruce Boudreau seemed to express some regrets.

Specifically, he doesn’t seem very comfortable with it being a record-breaking blowout.

“I don’t like those kinds of games,” Boudreau said. “You don’t want to ever intentionally embarrass another team. I’ve been on the other end of those scores, so I know what it feels like.”

Teemu Selanne’s been around the block as well, so it makes sense that he expressed similar sentiments about the later stages of the contest, when the Canucks were shorthanded for an extended amount of time and the contest was well out of reach.

“We didn’t want to finish the game like that,” Selanne said. “I know there were a couple of guys who had a chance to get a hat trick, but it’s almost embarrassing to even try. But, what are you going to say? It’s a good thing we won. But we can’t really get too high about this one.”

With back-to-back games against Western Conference powers Chicago and St. Louis coming up, it’s not like they have a ton of time to celebrate, anyway.

Boudreau returns to DC, where he helped put hockey ‘front-and-center’

Bruce Boudreau
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Brooks Laich remembers the days when a ticket to a Washington Capitals game wasn’t exactly a hot commodity. The 30-year-old first donned a Caps uniform in 2003-04, before Alex Ovechkin was drafted and when average attendance was just 14,720 to watch a team that finished with a dreadful 23-46-10-3 record.

But Laich doesn’t just credit Ovechkin with hockey’s turnaround in DC. He also credits current Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, who returns to the Verizon Center tonight for the first time since being fired by the Caps in late 2011.

“He turned hockey from a back-burner sport into a front-and-center, front page, exciting, real entertaining game,” Laich said, per CSN Washington. “Certainly, the players and organization have had a role in that, too, but he was one of the leading forces to putting hockey on the map in Washington.”

Because it wasn’t just that the Caps started winning games under Boudreau; it was the way they played, running and gunning in a league that was desperately trying to move on from the so-called “dead puck” era.

Eventually, after failing to make a deep run in the playoffs, and with his team being accused of playing the “wrong way,” Boudreau dialed it back in an attempt to play the “right way” — a move he later hinted went against his instincts.

If only Jaroslav Halak hadn’t…well, no point in going over that again; that’s history now.

“Look what he’s done with [Anaheim],” Laich said. “They were a team on the decline and now they’re at the top of the standings again.”

Indeed, the Ducks are red hot, with eight straight victories and a 26-7-5 record.