Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ducks Want to Rally around Boudreau, Change Coach's Playoff Reputation

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ducks Want to Rally around Boudreau, Change Coach's Playoff Reputation

Article excerpt

Ducks want to change Boudreau's playoff rep


Every time Bruce Boudreau has coached with one team for an entire season, that team has finished first in its division. In every 82-game season Boudreau's team has surpassed 100 points.

"He's the coach you want to play for, so you basically want to do the results for him," Anaheim Ducks forward Tomas Fleischmann said. "You can tell almost every season he gets over 100 points, that's the main reason."

But Fleischmann knows from three playoff runs with Boudreau on the Washington Capitals that the regular-season isn't what defines the popular coach. Boudreau's teams are 27-30 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, including 1-5 when it gets to Game 7, and he has yet to get past the second round.

The Ducks are Pacific Division champions for the third straight year, and players are intent on rallying around Boudreau to try to erase his less-than-sunny playoff reputation.

"He's not playing. It's up to his players, and when his players aren't performing in the playoffs, it has nothing to do with him," winger Corey Perry said recently at Madison Square Garden. "You can say all you want about him, but he's not out there, he's not doing it. We have to go out and we have to prove that we want to win each and every night."

Anaheim lost in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round in 2013 and beat the Dallas Stars last spring before losing the Los Angeles Kings in seven. Matchups this time around could be more favourable for the Ducks to make a run.

General manager Bob Murray said at the trade deadline that the Ducks got defencemen James Wisniewski and Simon Despres, as well as Fleischmann and forward Jiri Sekac, to better compete with the big boys in the Western Conference. Boudreau has the chance to mix and match his lineup based on opponents, so there is some responsibility on his shoulders before his players step onto the ice.

"We can put a group together that plays against a big, physical team, and we can put groups together that play against a real fast team," Boudreau said. …

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