Bruce Boudreau vs Ovi
While the Stanley Cup playoffs are just in round two, likely Stanley Cup final matchups are starting to materialize. With the Anaheim Ducks up two games to one in their series and the Washington Capitals up three games to one in their series, well, an interesting finals matchup could possibly be in the near future. The Capitals vs the Ducks would pit Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau against his former club in the Capitals. All us hockey fans remember Boudreau’s famous expletive laced rant on HBO’s 24/7 road to the Winter Classic series. Warning do not watch below video if expletives offend you.
OK, OK, the Ducks are more than Boudreau and the Capitals are more than just Alexander Ovechkin. This isn’t trying to belittle the rest of the two teams but Ovechkin was criticized for not playing defense and not getting deep in the playoffs with Boudreau behind the bench. Boudreau likewise was criticized for not getting more out of his star player and the rest of the Capitals. For them to faceoff against each other in the Stanley Cup final? That would be awesome to watch, and because yours truly is almost always pro-player in a player versus coach debate, I would be rooting for Ovechkin all the way. Of course as a Sharks fan, the Ducks and Kings are equal roots of all evil, so that certainly aids my rooting interest as well but nonetheless, it would be great to see Ovechkin beat his former coach in the final.
That said, I don’t think Boudreau is necessarily a bad coach. In the next few days I’m going to be posting about how coaches as a whole are overrated, and that most of the big names are all quality coaches. Coaching is overrated in the sense that it is hardly ever a primary reason for winning or losing. When coaches win the Stanley Cup it is all about being the right coach at the right time. Randy Carlyle won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks but got laughed out of town in Toronto. Meanwhile Boudreau hasn’t won anything yet with Anaheim but is much more highly thought of in Anaheim and around the league than Carlyle. Furthermore, Darryl Sutter didn’t all of a sudden become a genius in Los Angeles after being a terrible coach/GM with Calgary. The truth is guys like Sutter and Boudreau are neither idiots nor geniuses. No hockey coach is re-inventing the hockey wheel from behind the bench, but neither is single handedly screwing their team either. Some coaches are better than others but for the most part it is on the GM putting together a good enough roster to win. Boudreau may be more of an offensive coach and he didn’t do a good enough job with the Capitals, but the depth he has been given with the Ducks this year is much better than the depth he had with Washington.
Simply a Great Story
If the Ducks-Capitals final comes to fruition, it will be an awesome moment to see the handshake line when Ovechkin meets Boudreau. Not that they necessarily hate each other or anything, I fully admit I’m not aware of their current relationship. Even if it is a good relationship, it will be along the lines of a brother beating a brother in the final and that is always a fun interaction to witness. Particularly if the brothers played together for awhile until one moved on elsewhere and the other remained. The rivalry may be friendly, but it is still a rivalry. Hockey players often want to beat their friends on opposing teams more than they want to beat guys they hate on the other team. And in the case of Boudreau and Ovechkin, there might be a bit of animosity between the two left over. Difficult to imagine their relationship is all roses and daisies. Either way it would make for great theater to see these two in the final.
Andrew has been credentialed to cover the Sharks since 2010 and the 49ers since 2012. He graduated with his BA in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts in 2013 from San Francisco State University.