Boudreau feels ‘relief’ after making first-ever conference final

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When it comes to regular season success, Bruce Boudreau doesn’t have many equals. Between his past tenure as the head coach of the Washington Capitals and his current gig with the Anaheim Ducks, he has a 363-167-69 record and a points percentage (.664) higher than any other coach that’s served in at least 500 games. That includes the legendary Scotty Bowman, who finished his career with a .657 points percentage.

Boudreau doesn’t get a lot of credit for his regular season success though because his teams haven’t excelled beyond that. In contrast to Bowman’s nine championships as a head coach, Boudreau hadn’t reached the Conference Final until this year.

“It’s a relief that I won’t get asked that question anymore,” Boudreau told NHL.com. “I’m sure now it will be, ‘Well, you’ve never been to the Cup Final.’ For tonight I’m really happy that question won’t be asked of me too often anymore.”

Of course, the way to avoid that question too would be to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Western Conference Final. Anaheim largely cruised through the regular season and only needed nine games to eliminate Winnipeg and Calgary in the first two rounds.

Chicago is an entirely different beast though. The Blackhawks have no shortage of veteran players with postseason success. They possess both star talent and depth. They also earned 4-1 victories against the Ducks in their last two meetings.

This series looks like an uphill battle for Anaheim, but at least Boudreau is closer than ever to his ultimate goal.