Following Anaheim’s loss in St. Louis last night — one that dropped the Ducks to an ugly 1-7-2 on the year — the question was asked of Bruce Boudreau:
Do you still expect to be coaching the team for its next game, at home, on Sunday?
“Until somebody tells me (I’m not), I’m coaching the team,” Boudreau said, per the OC Register.
By now you’ve heard all the issues plaguing the Ducks — they can’t score goals, they can’t win games, they’re frustrated. Boudreau sounds like a coach that’s entirely out of answers; following the loss to the Blues, he all but acknowledged the club’s success is partly beyond his control.
“We do need a break,” he explained. “And we’re not getting them right now, and that’s what usually happens when a dark cloud is over you.”
Which begs the question: When will that dark cloud be lifted?
Some have pointed to Sunday’s game against 7-1-1 Nashville as the one in which Boudreau’s tenure could end. The Ducks will be back in Anaheim after a five-game road trip and, as callous as it may sounds, it’s easier — at least from a logistical standpoint — to relieve a coach of his duties at home.
Easier to call a press conference, easier to deal with the administrative stuff, etc. etc.
(Columbus turfed Todd Richards right before heading out on its current four-game road swing, for what it’s worth.)
It’s also widely assumed that Anaheim already has its next head coach in Paul MacLean, currently serving as Boudreau’s assistant. MacLean’s had plenty of success as a bench boss, highlighted by winning the Jack Adams in ’13.
If Boudreau is dismissed, it’ll be a tough and ultimately unfair ending for a guy that won 163 games as Anaheim’s head coach, and took the Ducks to within one game of last year’s Stanley Cup Final.
But for GM Bob Murray, an unfair ending might be the only option.