Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Boudreau: Head Mallard

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it, hockey is all about the players who skate for their designated team. But what would the players do if they didn’t have a head coach to lead them in the right direction and help them keep their focus towards the main prize? Let’s talk about Bruce “Brucie” Boudreau, the head coach for our beloved Anaheim Ducks’. After all, he just achieved his 300th NHL career last night with the Ducks against the Blues. He is now the fastest coach to accomplish that many wins in all the league.

Boudreau’s coaching career began in 1992 with the Colonial Hockey League in Muskegon. He then served as head coach and director of hockey operations for Mississippi (ECHL). Then he spent four years with Manchester, and two with Lowell, which are both Los Angeles affiliate teams. In 2007, Boudreau joined the Washington Capitals’ franchise for his first NHL head coach position and remained there until his release in 2011.

More stats from his previous coaching terms, as well as his player stats can be found here

In November 2011, Bruce Boudreau was fired from his head coach position with the Washington Capitals. The team wasn’t responding to his coaching style and weren’t producing any W’s on the scoreboard. The team shamefully was beat by the Buffalo Sabres 5-1, despite the fact that Buffalo team was missing 9 of their regular players.

George McPhee, General Manager for the Washington Capitals, commented on Boudreau’s performance with the team to the press.

Boudreau had four-plus seasons behind the Capitals’ bench. There was a combined effort in terms of failures for the franchise towards the end of Boudreau’s coaching tour, including Captain Alex Ovechkin’s decrease in goals and assists, compared to his past stats during that same season. Dale Hunter, whom is a former Capitals’ great, took Boudreau’s place in 2011, yet resigned in May 2012 due to personal reasons. Adam Oates then took his place in June 2012 and has been in Washington D.C. ever since.

It didn’t take long for Boudreau to “flock” to a newly found home. Hi unemployment lasted only three days, when he was named the head coach for the Anaheim Ducks. Boudreau was hired on to replace Randy Carlyle. The Ducks, at the time, were experiencing a decline in goal-production following their Stanley Cup win in 2007. GM Bob Murray also let go assistant coaches Dave Farrish and Mike Foligno at this same time to set up a new “regime” for Boudreau.

Fast-forwarding to the current NHL season, Boudreau has now been with the Ducks’ for three seasons, with this 2013-2014 tour being his first full season. His recent record consists of 30 wins, 12 losses and six over time losses with 66 points in 2012-2013. Boudreau led Anaheim to its second Pacific Division title in franchise history and eighth berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with as a number two seed. He is the eighth head coach in franchise history. Looking at the current 2013-2014 season, the Ducks have maintained their number one spot in the NHL and number one spot in the Western Conference, with 41 wins, 14 losses, five over time losses and a total of 60 games played. How do you like them apples?

Throughout his NHL head-coaching career days, Boudreau has brought his teams into five Stanley Cup playoff contests, with three of those losses during round one and the other two during round two.

Many of the Anaheim Ducks’ players rave about Boudreau being a “players coach” here

With his pro-offense attitude that rivaled Carlyle’s coaching style, Boudreau came into Anaheim with a fresh mindset and allowed the players to be more creative in scoring goals and going more towards the net as long as the defense could keep up with the momentum. Along with the tools in regards to some of the top players in the NHL that he was given when assigned to Anaheim, Boudreau restored the team’s confidence and helped lead them to their success today.

My opinion on Boudreau? I think that he has done a great job thus far with Anaheim. He has gained respect from the players and they are demonstrating that they enjoy performing at a top-notch level under a great leader. Boudreau has been reported as a coach who demands respect in return, yet this seems to be a given considering that the Ducks are responding well to his styles of coaching. Even though he hasn’t gotten either of his two NHL teams past the second round of playoffs, his hunger for performance and obvious perseverance shows that he has the potential to lead greatness.

Tags: Anaheim Ducks Bruce Boudreau

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