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Boudreau: “I tried every trick… nothing was working.”

Nov 30, 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

Washington Capitals v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

Bruce Boudreau’s firing on Monday may not have been a shock to many following the Capitals’ play of late, but for Boudreau he thinks it came at the right time.

Boudreau spoke with Tarik El-Bashir or The Washington Post about being fired and as you might expect, his take on things was sad but also honest. Boudreau said he told Caps GM George McPhee, “I tried every trick I knew in 18 years and nothing was working.”

When you run out of ideas for how to tweak and motivate a team like that, there’s not a whole lot you can do. As far as the idea that players were tuning him out, Boudreau said he didn’t believe it to be true but that the last couple days he was at the helm people started saying it to him. Boudreau admits he may have been naive.

As far as whether or not Alex Ovechkin was rebelling against him, Boudreau says he’ll never want to believe that to be the case and that the good of Ovechkin’s game far outweighed the bad. That might kill a few columnists’ hopes right there.

Reading Boudreau’s comments you feel for the guy because you get the sense that he really gave it all he had and that the team was just done with him. It’s sad but it happens with a lot of teams. The well runs dry and there’s no way to reignite their will to do what you want. Now the Caps hope that Dale Hunter can find the new buttons to push.

  1. nhlbruins90 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    They say you can’t fire the whole team, so you fire the coach. But what happens if you fire the coach, and the team still doesn’t respond? Then you start to fire the team. There’s plenty of motivation (and responsibility) for the players to get their act together now.

    • govtminion - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Motivation sometimes just needs a gentle push to get it moving. I’m betting the bag skate Hunter is going to put the team through (following last night’s lackluster-as-usual performance) is a good start. 😉

      • bcjim - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Last night was not lackluster effort imo. They need to learn what Hunter wants and he probably dumbed down the scheme (I hope) to something that would yield a close game. And it did. They skated hard against a trap-like team. Why such a minimal forecheck? I don’t know but I am pretty sure it was on Hunters orders.

      • hague507 - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        There was a play with about 7 minutes left in the game and the Blues dumped the puck. The official raised his arm for icing and Carlson had about 5 steps on the charging Blues player. Carlson put no effort into getting back to touch up the puck and was beat by the Blues player. That was hard to stomach as a Caps season ticket holder.

    • abrienza428 - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Actually, I don’t think a bag skate will help. This team is past that. It’s just my opinion, but I would think positive reinforcement would work better here. They’re tired of being yelled at. Boudreau did it all the time, and it stopped working. The team has a wealth of offensive talent. Utilize it and stress it. This team isn’t having fun. Getting yelled at will not change that.

      • govtminion - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        A valid point, but Hunter doesn’t strike me as the kind, friendly type of a coach…

  2. oxyvikadin - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Back when the Caps signed Vokoun I posted right here that Boudreau’s continued reign as head coach just became tied to the success of Vokoun. It is obviously a little more complicated than that, but my thought was that there really was no where left to hide on the roster and if the team underperformed and the only change left was the coach.

    Certainly, there are other problems besides a lackluster performance by Voukoun thus far (23rd out of 30 in GAA and Save %) but he didn’t do his coach any favors.

  3. charphel - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    This if off-topic, but here’s realtively entertaining fist-related kerfuffle between the Sabres’ Matt Martin and the Islanders’ Zack Kassian:

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