Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anaheim Fires Boudreau; Decision Comes after Another Disappointing Exit from Playoffs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anaheim Fires Boudreau; Decision Comes after Another Disappointing Exit from Playoffs

Article excerpt

The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, two days after their disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray announced the decision to fire Boudreau, who hasn't been able to pair postseason success with steady excellence in his two NHL jobs in Anaheim and Washington. Boudreau has won 409 regular-season games and eight division titles, but just five playoff rounds in his coaching career.

The Ducks have lost a Game 7 on home ice in four consecutive playoff years, culminating in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Nashville in the first round.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," Murray said in a statement. "Bruce is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

Boudreau had spectacular regular-season success with the Ducks, leading them to four consecutive Pacific Division titles while going 208-104-40 in nearly five seasons in charge. He had similar success in his first NHL coaching job in Washington, going 201-88-40 and winning four Southeast Division titles in parts of five seasons.

But the Ducks' last four seasons have ended in much the same pain experienced by Capitals fans, whose teams won just two playoff rounds in four postseasons under Boudreau. The coach is an inexplicable 1-7 in Game 7s in his career, including six consecutive losses in the decisive game since 2009.

The Ducks also lost a 3-2 series lead in each of the past four postseasons, missing two opportunities to eliminate their opponents.

Anaheim outshot the Predators 28-10 over the final two periods of Game 7 at Honda Center but couldn't overcome two early goals in a gut-wrenching loss.

Anaheim fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Finals last season, losing the Western Conference finals to Chicago in Boudreau's longest postseason run.

That was the second straight year the Ducks were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, following their 2014 loss to Los Angeles in the second round. Anaheim's first-round losses to Detroit in 2013 and to wild-card Nashville this season were more embarrassing.

The Ducks won three playoff rounds in four seasons under Boudreau, never reaching the Stanley Cup Finals with Murray's talent- loaded rosters. …

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