Bruce Boudreau spent five seasons on the Capitals' bench, serving as head coach from 2007-12. They finished first in the division four times and second once, amassing a record of 201-88-40, though he had a losing mark in the playoffs.
He coached superstar Alex Ovechkin in each of those five years, getting to know his best player well. And after Boudreau left Washington, it was Ovechkin who seemed to give a little extra effort against his former coach -- according to that former coach.
"Every time we played the Caps since I have left them, Ovi would come over in the morning and say ‘I’m going to score three goals tonight. I’m going to score three goals.’ And he scored three goals twice and two goals twice," Boudreau recalled on Capitals Pregame Live Tuesday night. "And every time he scored, he’d wink at me. He’d come over to the bench and he’d look at me and I would have to turn away because I was getting so frickin’ mad at him every time because he’d score and he’d look at me and he’d wink and then he’d go away and in the morning skates he’d say ‘Hey coach I’m going to score three more again tonight.’ I think he was taking it more personal to me.”
This is some seriously legendary stuff from Ovechkin. His ability to simply decide to score a hat trick whenever he feels like it is absolutely remarkable, and it just so happened he would always feel like it when he had the chance to be petty with his former coach.
Unfortunately, it appears that Ovechkin wasn't quite as prolific as Boudreau remembers. He only had one hat trick against his former coach, and scored two goals only one other time. Hey, memory is a fickle thing. But still, the taunting clearly had Ovechkin's desired effect, as Boudreau is able to remember that part so well years later.
Boudreau is going to be on NBC Sports Washington's pregame and postgame shows all season long, so be sure to tune in for more iconic stories about Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals.