Tag Archives: Bruce Boudreau

One Writer’s Trophy Candidates

Because there’s been talk of certain Canadiens possibly grabbing hardware at season’s end, I’ve wondered who else around the league might be in the thick of things in different categories, and how professional writers might view some of the Habs who have a shot.

So it was interesting to see how Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province rates players he says are in the running, with him, and maybe some cohorts at the Province, coming up with some personal picks.

The Hart Trophy (MVP)

Jamieson’s three finalists are Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), and he decides on Crosby, although he mentions that Ovechkin is pushing hard.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenceman)

Shea Weber (Nashville), Ryan Suter Minnesota, and P.K. Subban and Jamieson chooses Suter. About Subban, he says P.K. has finally decided to let his play do the talking, and the results confirm he’ll win this trophy soon enough. (just not this year). I disagree. Subban has been brilliant and deserves to win.

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Tuukka Rask (Boston), Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus), and Cory Schneider (Vancouver), and Jamieson apologizes to Canucks fans because he chooses Rask.

Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)

Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), and Jonas Brodin (Minnesota) are the three finalists, and although Huberdeau leads rookies in scoring, the writer picks Gallagher, which of course I agree with.

Frank J. Selke (best defensive forward)

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), David Backes (St. Louis).  The choice is Toews, with his league leading plus-33.

Lady Byng – (sportsmanship/high standard of play)

Datsyuk, Jordan Eberle (Edmonton), and Loui Eriksson (Dallas).  Who wins? Flip a coin, says Jamieson. He then chooses Eberle.

Jack Adams Award (coach of the year)

Joel Quenneville (Chicago), Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim), and Michel Therrien, and Jamieson picks Therrien. He says Anaheim and Montreal have been the season’s surprise teams, and he gives the nod to Therrien for a better storyline – about a guy who’s been frozen out by the NHL since his firing from Pittsburgh in 2009.

Another From The Old Trunk

I was going through an old program I have, from an Ottawa ’67s game I was at back in 1976, and I found my ticket stub inside! Such a bonus!

Here you’ll see Doug Wilson, general manager of the San Jose Sharks, when he looked like a white Jimi Hendrix. You can see Bruce Boudreau, now coaching the Anaheim Ducks, who had won the scoring championship the previous year, along with a bunch of guys who would also make the NHL, including Habs Doug Jarvis and Mark Napier.

And no, the picture of six Ottawa players isn’t a “Wanted” poster at the cop shop.

Peter Lee, on the cover and also in that one particular photo, would score 81 goals in this ’75-’76 season and was chosen by the Habs 12th overall. He’d go on to play for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, but before he would ever wear the CH, he and Canadiens Peter Mahovlich were traded to Pittsburgh for Pierre Larouche.

Also included – Boudreau accepting the Memorial Cup, and Bobby Orr telling us about Yardley Black Label.

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24CH English Version Kicks Off Tonight

The English version of 24CH, a behind-the-scenes peek at the Habs, begins tonight on TSN at 8pm et/5pm pt. Tonight’s episode will be an hour long, and throughout the season there will be six more 30-minute episodes.

This should be extremely interesting. Maybe we’ll see some wild and crazy hi-jinks. Maybe Michel Therrien swears like Bruce Boudreau, although having said that, I don’t think anyone swears like Bruce Boudreau. (Remember 24/7?).

This series began in French on RDS last week, and now it’s the English version for those of us who tried to learn the French language and failed miserably. Like me.

Here’s my post from the 24/7 series in 2010 that featured the Penguins and Capitals.
I Want A Habs Version Of 24/7

And here’s some technical stuff from TSN that may be important to you but frankly, I don’t have a clue what this gibberish is.

The series is complemented by 24CH Flash, 48 exclusive highlight clips (one per game day) available through the Montréal Canadiens app for iPhone and Android-powered smartphones. Bell Mobility subscribers can access the 24CH Flash highlight clips 24 hours in advance through the Bell Premiere Zone of the Montréal Canadiens app. Bell Fibe TV subscribers can also access the 24CH Flash highlight clips through the TSN Xtra app and RDS Extra App.

In addition, 24CH Weekly offers fans exclusive video content from the series with videos posted every Saturday on Canadiens.com.

“The Hockey News” From 1988

In a box in my closet I found a few old issues of The Hockey News from 1988, and here’s a sampling of things mentioned:

“We’re so used to this against Montreal, but we’re not complaining.” – Quebec Nordique GM Maurice Filion after an apparent tying goal was waved off against Montreal Feb. 29.

Consumer crusader Ralph Nader lobbied NHL president John Ziegler in an attempt to keep ticket prices down. FANS (Fight to Advance the Nation’s Sports), a group headed by Nader, cited the average ticket price for an NHL game at $7.87, which Nader said was “the most difficult to justify of all the major sports.” (Note from me – Originally I thought this had to be a typo, so I dug through old ticket stubs and I see that it was very possible. I have a Habs-Bruins stub at the Forum that was ten bucks. And various other stubs I have from the late 1980s ranged from ten to fourteen and upwards around twenty bucks. So maybe $7.87 isn’t completely farfetched. Just seems too cheap, that’s all).

“When Borje and the other Swedes went to the NHL, took all the crap and didn’t come home in a box,” said Mats Naslund, “we all knew we had a chance to play in the NHL.”

After Steve Yzerman scored his 50th goal – against Sabre goalie Tom Barrasso – he fished the puck out of the net. Then, inexplicably, he tossed it into the crowd on his way back to the Detroit bench. “I just thought someone else might appreciate it (as a keepsake) more than me,” Yzerman said. “I have the memory of it, and I’ll never forget it. I don’t need the puck. But he was destined to get it anyway. Jacques Demers chased down the fan who caught it, and traded him another puck and a stick for it. The coach planned to have the milestone puck mounted.

“Obviously, the fans in Minnesota don’t care about the playoff race.” Boston Bruin GM Harry Sinden, after 9,591 people showed up at the Met Center to watch Montreal and Minnesota play a 2-2 tie March 14.

Joe Sakic took it right down to the wire for a photo finish that not even the Western League stewards could decide. The Swift Current centre scored four goals in his team’s last regular-season game March 19 to tie Moose Jaw’s Theoren Fleury with 160 points. The WHL has no formal tie-breaking procedure and declared Sakic and Fleury co-champions. It’s the first time in WHL history two players have tied for the scoring championship.

Originally drafted by the Sabres in 1980, Randy Cunneyworth explains his failure to stick in Buffalo rather succinctly. “Square pegs don’t fit into round holes.”

“It’s funny,” said Stephane Richer. “In the past few games it seems that everything I shoot is going in or any time I make a pass to my linemate he scores.” Richer scored on four of 10 shots in a 7-6 overtime win at Los Angeles March 5. Among the goals was the game-winner, making it 44 goals in 65 for number 44 as he helped Montreal to a league-high eight consecutive victories.

Springfield Indians (AHL) center Bruce Boudreau had his 20-game point streak snapped by Maine in a 4-2 loss Feb. 28.

Leafs suffer double-digit embarrassment – a humiliating 10-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The Two On The Bread Lines

Would you want either of the recently canned coaches, Paul Maurice or Bruce Boudreau, coaching the Habs?

Because when you look at them, it’s not exactly like bringing in Scotty Bowman or Jacques Lemaire.

Boudreau can’t even be considered an experienced NHL bench boss. Four and a half years behind the bench for the Washington Capitals. Before that, it was 15 years riding buses in the minors and eating Teenburgers, which probably helped make him the round ball of jelly he is today.

He also can’t be considered a winner, although his regular season record is excellent. It’s in the playoffs where he falls short. Four years with the Caps, losing twice in round one and twice in round two. Not spectacular showings considering he had a team many felt to be the best in the east and maybe in all of hockey.

Boudreau of course is a world-class swearer, as we witnessed on HBO’s 24/7. I haven’t heard cursing like that since the days when I would wander into Orillia’s Top Hat billiard room as a young teenager and mingle among some of Central Ontario’s finest thugs and future convicts. But swearing is a non-issue. Toe Blake was banned from the Forum pool hall for his salty language. So if Toe could let loose with expletives, then Bruce can too. (Although maybe some of those scenes on 24/7 could have been sliced for the younger viewing audience).

Anyway, I’m pretty sure there aren’t many coaches out there slated for future sainthood.

Boudreau’s problem, which Montreal doesn’t have, was Alex Ovechkin, who became, like the big star on a peewee team, a sulking child when the coach decided not to play him at certain times, like 60 minutes a game, every game. Ovechkin stopped playing, stopped being one of the two best in the world, felt hard done by and persecuted, and hopefully he still lives with his mom so she can whip up some borscht and dumplings and make him feel better.

The end came fast when Boudreau lost Ovechkin.

It’s also interesting to note that I saw it explained yesterday that it was Kirk Muller, as assistant coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the time, who figured out how to stop this flashy Russian by mostly keeping him to the outside, and other teams quickly followed suit. He became predictable and remains predictable now. Ovechkin’s star is fading while Sidney Crosby’s is glistening.

Oh, and maybe I should mention - this Russian, so hard done by, is in the middle of a 13 year, 124 million dollar contract.

Paul Maurice is a much more experienced coach than Boudreau, with 14 plus years under his belt in Hartford, Toronto, and Carolina. He sniffed success just once, taking Carolina to the Cup finals in 2002 before losing 4 games to 1 to Detroit. But again, like Boudreau, there hasn’t been a lot of glorious moments in this coaching career.

He’s a likeable enough fellow, it seems, but his players, like Boudreau’s, stopped playing, even though these guys are paid a king’s ransom for half a year’s work, plus all the free meals they can eat in their home city. It’s a good job. I don’t know about yours but it’s better than mine.

My feeling is the Habs don’t need either of these guys. Get rid of Jacques Martin and promote one of the Randy’s. Or entice a winning coach from elsewhere, using Scott Gomez-like money. We know Molsons has lots of cash. My friends and I have spent a vast fortune on their beer over the years.

And maybe old and retired Sovietski Viktor Tikhonov should go to Washington to help Dale Hunter. Put the fear of the gulag in Ovechkin.

A Game To Be Had

If the Canadiens manage to lose to Anaheim on Wednesday night, it’ll become one of the lowest points of the season. Anaheim sits second worst in the entire league with 16 points, and have lost their last five.

If the Habs lose this and look bad while doing it, you would think that Jacques Martin would join Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice on the unemployment line.

Wouldn’t you?

 

Stuff To Read

By the time this week-long break in the Habs’ schedule finishes, Scott Gomez will look like Pancho Villa, Max Pacioretty like Marcello Mastroianni, P.K. Subban like Sidney Poitier, and Carey Price like Burt Reynolds.

By the time it finishes, I might not remember who’s on the team.

In the meantime:

A fine piece from The Hockey Writers about  Nail Yakupov, very possibly the first pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, and who is being compared to Pavel Bure, only with more edge to his game. (which is a nice combination to be sure).

Alex Ovechkin calling Bruce Boudreau a fat fuck after the coach didn’t put him on the ice in the last minute of the game. (You have to read his lips but you can make it out clearly). And while we’re speaking of Ovechkin, I just have to say that I hate his TV commericals. All of them.

Canadiens sign Jarred Tinordi, now playing for the London Knights of the OHL, to a three-year contract. The great thing about Tinordi is his nice size. This blueliner stands 6’6 and weighs 215. It’s here at Canadien.com Jarred Tinordi

Interesting story from the Trail Daily Times, with Jean Beliveau reminiscing about the night he and the Habs played an exhibition game in Trail, BC, fifty years ago. Legend Recalls Time In Trail

Wrong Time Of Year For The Caps

Seems like it doesn’t matter how many points the Washington Capitals get in the regular season, when it comes to the playoffs, it’s a whole other matter.

Unless that is, they can come back from a three-game deficit to overcome the Tampa Bay Lightning, which probably isn’t going to happen.

The Caps changed their way of doing things this year, going from an offensive juggernaut to a disciplined, lower-scoring, and conservative team, and the hockey world raved. That’s the way to do it, many said. The Caps will be tough because of their new system, they added. Kudos to coach Bruce Boudreau to recognize their downfalls and fix them, they muttered.

Or something like that.

And once again, it all comes crashing down. Even with a lineup bursting at the seams with stars such as Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Semin, Jason Arnott, Brooks Laich and more.

Just goes to show that the playoffs has a mind of its own.

Bruce Boudreau is swearing, I’m sure. Maybe even more than he did in the HBO 24/7 segments, which says a lot. Parents probably weren’t all that impressed with Boudreau’s use of language as they grabbed the popcorn and sat down with their little kids to watch these leadups to the Winter Classic, when Boudreau set world records for the amount of F-bombs dropped by one person in just one hour.

But that’s hockey. Toe Blake was once barred from the Forum billiard room for using too much profanity. But at least Toe wasn’t swearing in front of thousands of little kids watching on television.

Washington’s on the verge of collapse and Boudreau could be unemployed very soon. But as they say, coaches are hired to be fired.

Here’s a brief look at a decade of Caps playoff performances;

2010 – Won the President Trophy and lost in the first round to Montreal. (Boudreau coaching)

2009 – Won Southeast Division and lost to Pittsburgh in the second round. (Boudreau coaching)

2008 – Won Southeast Division and lost to Flyers in the first round. (Boudreau coaching)

2007 – Ended up in last place and out of playoffs.

2006 – Last place in Southeast Division and out of playoffs.

2005 – lockout

2004 – Last place and out of playoffs.

2003 – Lost to Lightning in opening round.

2002 – out of playoffs.

2001 – First place in Southeast Division – out in first round.

The Silence Is Deafening

Things are quiet in Habsville at the moment.

The Canadiens were vanquished by the Boston Bruins in the first round not long ago and went quietly into the night, but in 2010, we all know what we did to those two so-called favourites before eventually being dispatched by the Philadelphia Flyers. (Remember how happy we were for awhile?)

A year ago, things were cooking. Now, everything has cooled off and collecting mould.

Montreal providing thrills and spills in the playoffs wasn’t the only news a year ago. When all was said and done back then, Sergei Kostitsyn was sent to Nashville, PK Subban was a late-season call up, Benoit Pouliot signed a one year, $1.45 million contract, Tomas Plekanec inked a six year deal worth 30 million, and Jaroslav Halak was shipped to St. Louis, making Carey Price the undisputed number one goalie which turned out to be just fine.

This year at this time? William and Kate got hitched, Bin Laden was erased, Stephen Harper won a majority government, Boston is up two games to nothing over the Flyers, Tampa Bay is also up two games to Washington and just may be the ones to get Caps coach Bruce Boudreau fired, and Vancouver fans still don’t know if they should be on or off the bandwagon.

But Habs news? This isn’t normal.

A Good Time To Bring The Caps Back To Earth

Barack Obama may live in the same town as the Capitals, but we know who he’s cheering for.

Game day, with the Washington Capitals in Montreal, and I could say it could be a beauty but I could say it might not be either. Action-wise, that is. As long as the Habs win, however it happens, it’s a beauty.

Washington isn’t the offensive juggernaut we’ve seen since Alexander Ovechkin arrived on the scene. They have scored just five more goals than Montreal (189-184) on the season so far, and we all know the Habs aren’t exactly the 1976 version when it comes to filling nets.

The Caps have also allowed 182 goals as opposed to the Canadiens 172, but we have Carey Price in goal and the ultra-conservative Jacques Martin behind the bench so it’s not exactly rocket science. And Alex Ovechkin has netted just 28 goals so far, which is roughly half of what he ends up with every year.

And the coaches? Behind closed doors, Jacques Martin probably isn’t exactly a choir boy. On the other side, Bruce Boudreau, as we saw in the HBO special 24/7, says a couple of swear words now and again.

Washington is presently on an eight-game winning streak which might be a good thing for the the Habs. Winning streaks get stopped, and I can’t think of a better time than now. Just be aware, it might not be a barn-burner. (However, if it is a tremendously exciting game, forget I said this).

And if it’s not, you can amuse yourself by reading Bruce Boudreau’s lips when the camera’s on him.