Nearly four years after he was fired as head coach of the Capitals and replaced by Dale Hunter, Bruce Boudreau is on the hot seat again.
Heading into tonight’s game in St. Louis against the Blues the Anaheim Ducks are 1-6-2 and Boudreau’s tenure in Southern California is about as stable as the San Andreas Fault, especially after the Ducks coughed up a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.
“You feel for anybody you know,” said Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, who played parts of three seasons under Boudreau from 2009-11. “Coaches are like kickers sometimes. You miss a kick at the end of the game and all of sudden you’re the worst person in the world.
“Coaches maybe take too much blame and sometimes they get too much credit. When you’re struggling it’s usually the coach (who gets blamed). It’s not always the coach. You’ve got to look in the mirror. They’ve got a great team. People didn’t pick them to win the Stanley Cup for no reason.
“Sometimes it’s easier to change one person than the whole team and that’s the unfortunate part of the business of being a coach. I think coaches know that when they sign up for it, but it still sucks when you know a guy personally and you know how good a guy he is and how much he cares. When you see that part of it you don’t want anyone to go through that.”
Boudreau’s blank stare after the Ducks’ collapse against the Stars was a familiar one. He had a similar reaction following the Capitals’ 5-1 loss in Buffalo back in November of 2011. Two days later he was fired.
“I don’t know … I’m at a loss right now,” Boudreau said after his team’s most recent defeat.
The Ducks close out their five-game road trip tonight looking for their first road win of the season (0-3-1) and already some are calling for Trent Yawney or Paul MacLean as possible replacements. (Or maybe Guy Boucher?)
Boudreau, whose team has scored just nine goals in nine games despite some mocking instruction from Teemu Selanne, understands.
"Look at our record," he told reporters in St. Louis., "Of course the level of urgency is as high as it can be.
"… Our sense of urgency is not like if we were 6-1. There's only so many points on the table in 82 games. If you look at what made the playoffs last year, you might just use that as a board here, then you'd have to start winning some games; they have to start putting some games together to be successful. There's 70-plus games left, but at the same time, if you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that's 47 wins for us right now, and that's not an easy task."
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