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


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

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.

Ducks send Etem back to AHL; Boudreau: ‘It’s not easy for a young guy to make our team’

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Emerson Etem #65 of the Anaheim Ducks skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 12, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida.

The Anaheim Ducks sent promising forward Emerson Etem back to the minors on Tuesday and, to hear Bruce Boudreau explain it, the decision was less about the player and more about the roster he was trying to crack.

“We’re a good team,” Boudreau said, as per Ducks color analyst Dan Wood. “It’s not easy for a young guy to make our team.”

Etem, the club’s first-round pick (29th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has six goals and 10 points in 26 games this year, and is averaging over 13 minutes per contest. He’s one of Anaheim’s fastest skaters and figures prominently on the penalty kill (which, admittedly, isn’t great, ranking 21st in the NHL at 81.1 percent.)

He’s already been sent down to Norfolk once this season — scoring five points in three games for the Admirals — but that stint was brief, and it’ll be interesting how long this current one lasts.

The Ducks are slowly getting healthy, with Mathieu Perreault set to return this weekend and Jakob Silfverberg “getting closer and closer,” according to Boudreau.


Fowler’s ‘finally grown up and now he can play defense,’ says Boudreau


With all the injuries the Ducks have suffered on defense this year — Sheldon Souray and Luca Sbisa most notably — the team has been forced to rely on 21-year-old Cam Fowler more than ever.

And according to head coach Bruce Boudreau, Fowler has been up to the challenge.

“He’s finally grown up and now he can play defense,” Boudreau told the OC Register. “And I don’t mean that in a negative way.

“We’re putting him out in all defensive situations, whereas in the past it would not be that way.”

Fowler, the club’s first-round pick (12th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, made the leap from junior to the NHL as a 18-year-old and did it with aplomb, scoring 10 goals and 40 points in 76 games in his rookie campaign.

Of course, Fowler also went an ugly minus-25 that year, had poor possession/shot differential statistics (notably Corsi) and wasn’t trusted in a lot of key defensive moments… which isn’t a good thing for a defenseman.

But three years later — despite not turning 22 ’til December, Fowler has over 200 games of NHL experience — he’s matured into a more all-around blueliner, leading all skaters in TOI per game (23:17) and all Ducks defensemen in points (13).

The noted improvement in his game has Fowler thinking of a possible spot on Team USA for the ’14 Winter Olympics in Sochi. American GM David Poile noted recently that he and his advisers have whittled their defenseman shortlist to 12 — one of which is 19-year-old Preds defenseman Seth Jones — so it stands to reason Fowler could be in the mix of 12, especially since Poile said the best players will go, regardless of age.

Boudreau: Semin’s ‘an enigma, wrapped in something’


Much was made of the complex relationship between Bruce Boudreau and Alex Semin during their time together in Washington.

Now, with the two set to meet tonight — Boudreau’s Ducks take on Semin’s Canes in Carolina — the veteran bench boss tried to explain Semin in classic Boudreauian terms.

“There’s a saying about Alex,” Boudreau said, as per the Raleigh News & Observer. “He’s an enigma wrapped in something, wrapped in something else.”

Boudreau, as straight a shooter as there is, has always been blunt when  in describing Semin, the guy that was both a 40-goal scorer and healthy scratch in Washington. Semin’s play can be erratic and Boudreau has no problem saying it, which led to acrimony and perception the two never got along.

Not exactly accurate, according to Boudreau. (Boudreau actually sold the ‘Canes on signing Semin.)

“[Semin] can show flashes of absolute brilliance one minute,” he explained. “Then you’re going, ‘What are you doing?’ the next.

“But a tremendously skilled player. He can beat you on his own when he’s on.”

Unfortunately for Carolina, Semin hasn’t been on much this season. He has just three goals through 18 games and is on pace for 14, which would be his lowest full-season total since his rookie campaign (Semin scored 13 in last year’s lockout-shortened campaign).

What’s more, his playmaking ability seems to have fallen off as well. He has just five assists this season, a far cry from the 31 he had a year ago. That total placed him second on the team, trailing only captain Eric Staal (who had 35).