Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Road Ahead for Bruce Boudreau


Four wins down, 12 more to go.

For Bruce Boudreau, the next 12 wins will take an extraordinary amount of mental and physical toughness for not only him, but for his Anaheim Ducks as well.

Although Boudreau has helped the team achieve its’ first playoff series victory since 2009 (five years since the eighth-seeded Ducks miraculously beat the Presidents Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks in seven games), the Ducks have a long road ahead of them.

Boudreau’s unimpressive playoff record of 24-26 and his inability to propel his teams past the second round has caused many people to doubt him; however, this Ducks team is different.

With the point production of Messier Leadership Award Candidate  and Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and his side-kick Corey Perry, anything is possible for this relatively young Ducks team.

The Ducks also certainly have an advantage in securing home ice for this upcoming round against one of its’ California foes in either the San Jose Sharks or the Los Angeles Kings.

Of the challenges that the Los Angeles Kings could pose, Boudreau said of the Kings:

“I mean, they just keep coming and coming, and their work ethic is tremendous. That keeps me up at night. And their size. And the fact they’ve been there before. And if it’s L.A., they would have come off of winning four in a row against a very good hockey club so their confidence would be so high. And obviously their goaltender Jonathan Quick would be playing at his peak, which is always a scary thought.”

As of now, the Kings have not yet “choked” the San Jose Sharks, as many of the Ducks faithful, including myself, are hoping for. Both teams will face off in a pivotal Game 7 tomorrow night.

Boudreau also mentioned his worries of possibly facing the Sharks. Boudreau said:

“I think they’re the deepest team in the NHL up front, and they come at you in waves. And how do you combat that. It’s not their flat-out speed, even though they’ve got a lot of guys who can flat-out fly, but it’s the way they play fast.”

Despite his mediocre playoff record and playoff inexperience, Boudreau has what it takes to help the Ducks go past not only the second round (which would be a first for Boudreau), but also the third round, and the Stanley Cup Finals. Besides, this isn’t just any coach. Boudreau became the first coach in the modern era to reach his 300th win before coaching 500 games back in March.

Unfortunately, a stellar regular season record cannot win the Ducks a Stanley Cup. Only time will tell what Boudreau’s Ducks have in store for them.

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Tags: 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Anaheim Ducks Bruce Boudreau Featured NHL Popular