Tag: Bruce Boudreau


Lightning hire former Ducks assistant coach Brad Lauer

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the hiring of Brad Lauer as an assistant coach on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks, but he was fired this summer after a “post-season evaluation.” The Canadian Press noted that, for all the Ducks’ success, Lauer ran a unit that ranked 28th in the NHL.

It’s easy to see why the Bolts would hire an assistant who was part of such a successful franchise in Anaheim, whether Lauer fell short or was just a scapegoat in his eventual firing.

He also has some experience as an NHL player, as he appeared in 323 regular season games.

The Lightning summarized Lauer’s career in their release:

Lauer, a native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, has spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks. He helped Anaheim to a 51-24-7 record and 109 points last season, tied for the most in the NHL’s Western Conference. The Ducks also ranked 11th in the league for average goals per game with 2.78 in 2014-15. They eventually lost to the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. During the 2013-14 season Lauer and the Ducks had the best record in the West, going 54-20-8 with 116 points, one shy of a tie for the President’s Trophy. Anaheim was the NHL’s highest-scoring team that season, averaging 3.21 goals per contest.

Under Pressure: Anaheim’s goaltenders


While GM Bob Murray went and made upgrades to his blue line (Kevin Bieksa) and forward group (Chris Stewart, Carl Hagelin & Shawn Horcoff) during the offseason, one area of concern heading into the 2015-16 season is the Ducks’ goaltending situation.

Anaheim did acquire Anton Khudobin from the Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL Draft, but it’s hard to say the 29-year-old is the solution to the Ducks’ problem of inexperience in goal. Khudobin, who made 34 appearances with the Canes’ last season going 8-17-6, has never played a Stanley Cup playoff game.

Khudobin is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season.

Frederik Andersen, who was the Ducks’ starter in 2014-15, looked great in the playoffs against the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames, but against an experienced Blackhawks team, he faltered down the stretch.

The 25-year-old was 35-12-5 in 54 regular season games posting a 2.38 G.A.A. and a .914 save percentage. He appeared in all 16 playoff games posting an 11-5 record. After a sweep of the Jets and a five-game series win over the Flames, he struggled against the Blackhawks.

Andersen failed to register a save percentage higher than .875 in any of the last four games of the Western Conference Final – the Ducks won just one of those games.

Given that it was just his second full season in the league, it’s clear Andersen’s career is trending in the right direction, but with a core group of forwards that includes Ryan Getzlaf (30), Corey Perry (30) and Ryan Kesler (turning 31 on Aug. 31), do the Ducks have time to wait for the Dane to gain the necessary playoff experience to help them win a Stanley Cup?

Andersen is a restricted free agent next summer.

John Gibson is the third goaltender in the fold with the Ducks heading into the 2015-16 season.

The 22-year-old was the Ducks’ opening night starter last October dropping a 6-3 decision in his native Pittsburgh. Gibson was sidelined by a groin injury in early November allowing Andersen to take the reins.

Once healthy, Gibson found himself in the American Hockey League. He made 23 appearances with the Ducks last season posting a 13-8-0 record to go along with a 2.60 G.A.A. and a .914 save percentage. He also played 11 games with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals going 6-3-2.

“I’ve got to believe Gibby, now that he’s healthy, he wants to play,” said Boudreau during his year-end media availability. “He’s not used to sitting on the bench. And I think Freddie has gotten a taste of what it’s like to be No. 1 and he won’t let it up. I would venture to guess it would be a pretty good battle.”

Gibson is heading into the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent next summer.

With a combined 27 games of playoff experience under their belt, the Ducks goaltenders are under pressure heading into the 2015-16 season.

Ducks juggle lines ahead of Game 7

Anaheim Ducks v New Jersey Devils

The Anaheim Ducks did a bit of line juggling during the team’s morning skate at the Honda Center on Saturday.

After sitting out Game 6, it appears Tomas Fleischmann will enter the Ducks’ lineup tonight in place of Emerson Etem. The 31-year-old practiced on the team’s fourth line with Kyle Palmieri and Rickard Rakell.

Ducks’ coach Bruce Boudreau has a history with Fleischmann, which dates back to when the two were with the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals.

“There’s a real good chance that he’s in,” said Boudreau. “I just think an experienced guy, he’s been through these wars, he’s played in Game 7s, he’s been in championship games.

“When I was with Hershey, it was a while ago, but he was the MVP in the playoffs. So he knows what to do in these situations.”

Fleischmann played 10:19 in Game 5 after sitting out four games as a healthy scratch.

In five playoff games this spring, Fleischmann has one assist.

With Palmieri on the fourth line, Jiri Sekac moves up to the Ducks’ third line along side Nate Thompson and Andrew Cogliano. Sekac has a plus-1 rating and two penalty minutes while averaging 11:14 in ice time in six games this spring.

Puck drop tonight is at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Boudreau isn’t worried about Andersen after Ducks ‘bailed him out’


In the waning moments of regulation during Game 5, it looked like Frederik Andersen might be fitted with goat horns. His Anaheim Ducks teammates ended his tension pretty quickly, however, as Matt Beleskey scored the game-winner just 45 seconds into overtime.

That’s the funny thing about the playoffs. Sometimes a big gaffe can linger in the greater consciousness, yet sometimes a player gets absolved – more or less – by victory.

Andersen’s had many moments when he came through for his teammates, yet in a 5-4 OT win against the Chicago Blackhawks, it was clear that the shoe was on the other foot last night.

The young goalie noted that captain Ryan Getzlaf was quick to lift his spirits.

“[Getzlaf] came down right away and tried to pick me up; he’s a great leader,” Andersen said, according to NHL.com. “Told me whatever matters now is the next shot; that’s all I can worry about it. That was my mindset.”

Interestingly enough, the 25-year-old didn’t even need to make a save in overtime, as the Ducks fired all four shots on goal in that very quick bit of extra hockey.

With that, some wonder if the young goalie might get in his own head, but Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t seem worried.

“Well, you know what, he’s played so many good games in a row, and he’s bailed us out so often,” Boudreau said. “You know, he had an unfortunate couple of goals against him today. Freddie will be the first one to tell you he should have had them. But it was time that we bailed him out. He’ll be back to his normal, regular, great self in two days.”

“It was good to see if he had a bad game, we were able to help him out a little bit.”

He really has been great, too.

While you could chalk some of his regular season success up to his team (35-12-5 record despite a fairly standard .914 save percentage), he’s really elevated his play in the postseason with an impressive .925 save percentage. It’s easy to see why his teammates rallied around him on a tough night, then.

The NHL on NBC crew discusses Andersen’s rocky night and wonders if there will be any lingering effects:

Boudreau, Ducks considering lineup changes ahead of Game 5

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 19:  Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks stands behind his team as they play the Chicago Blackhawks during overtime of Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 19, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

With the Anaheim Ducks dropping Game 4 5-4 in double-overtime on Saturday night coach Bruce Boudreau admitted he’s considering possible lineup changes for Game 5 tonight at the Honda Center.

“We’re mulling it over,” Boudreau said on Sunday. “I mean, (Chris) Wagner is an energy guy that would do good in a series like this. (Tomas) Fleischmann is a good veteran that we’ve had a great record when he’s in the lineup.”

Wagner has not played since Game 2 of the Ducks’ first round series against the Winnipeg Jets. The 23-year-old rookie has averaged 5:33 in time on ice in these playoffs. Wagner appeared in nine regular season games with the Ducks registering a minus-2 rating while averaging 8:47 in ice time.

Fleischmann, who was acquired by the Ducks from the Florida Panthers in February, has not played since Game 5 of Anaheim’s second round series against the Calgary Flames. In four postseason games this spring the 31-year-old has one assist while averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time.

Boudreau is even considering changes to his blue line.

According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, it could mean an appearance from James Wisniewski who has yet to play this postseason.

Wisniewski, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, appeared in 13 games for the Ducks following the trade registering five assists and a minus-3 rating while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time.

“Even on defense, we’re thinking, Okay, is this the time? But we don’t want to make anything rash,” Boudreau said. “We’ll meet again tomorrow morning. I told the guys to all sleep on it.

“Except for three goals in the third period, defensively our team has been pretty darn good in the playoffs. So, I mean, it’s not a time to panic, it’s a time to believe.”

Puck drop tonight is at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.