Boudreau knows coaching is about finding how to motivate each player


There's a lot more to coaching hockey than just knowing the Xs and Os of the game. You also have to be able to get the most out of your players and that's something Bruce Boudreau is certainly an expert in.

"I think every player's different and it was my job to find the Achilles' heel on everybody, what makes them tick," Boudreau said to NBC Sports Washington. "Some guys you need to kick in the ass, some guys you needed to pat on the back, some guys you had to take ice time away."

Boudreau was the head coach in Washington from 2007 to 2011 and turned a cellar-dwelling Capitals team into a playoff contender. To do that, he had to get to players like Alex Ovechkin. It wasn't hard to figure out how to get him going when he struggled in a game.

"If Ovi wasn't going, I'd double shift him to get him going," Boudreau said.

Other players are tougher to reach and that is the challenge that faces new Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette this season.

It's hard to question the talent on the Caps' roster, but for much of the season and especially in the postseason, the team just did not look motivated. The players certainly have more to give and it will be up to Laviolette to get that out of them.

It may require a few more kicks in the ass than pats on the back, but sometimes that's what a team needs.


Said Boudreau, "You don't care if they hate you as a coach, you just care that they play for you."