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.

4 thoughts on “The Two On The Bread Lines”

  1. you are right about ovechkin and don’t forget his side kick al seemen being boudreau’s demise. i personally like him. anyone who vocalizes his profanities instead of jotting them down in his note book would be a welcome change. the bright side is there are lots of options in case jm falls and suffers a concusion. i still think the new coach of my new 2nd fav nhl team may have been the guy. u snooze u lose. didn’t bruce win coach of the year? ………..

  2. Sooner or later it had to happen…


    NRJ FM radio in Montreal has launched a contest where you can win a sweater of the Habs player of your choice if you can correctly guess when Scott Gomez will score his next goal.

    According to the advertisement, if Gomez retires, gets traded, gets sent to the minors or does not score any goal at all this season the prize will be awarded by drawing from those who gave NEVER as their answer.

    Here it is…

    I’ll bet you most of the entries chose NEVER.

  3. Boudreau had more problems than just Ovechkin. Semin wasn’t much of a help either. The guy is like Kovalev, he can be amazing and has a wicked shot yet only plays well once in a while when he feels like it. How do you coach someone like that? I think I’d go nuts doing it.

    Some people thought we should pick up Semin, but god I hope we never do.

    If we didn’t have that language requirement then Kirk could have been our Coach (you can tell he’s not here this season). At the very least they shouldn’t have let Guy Boucher go. They let so many good assests go out the window.

    Head over to TSN if you can Dennis. They interviewed Pacioretty and he’s pretty pissed. He said Shanny compared his hit to Cooke’s on Savard!

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