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Boudreau is “still pissed” at Halak

Mar 21, 2012, 6:21 PM EDT

Former Washington coach Bruce Boudreau hasn’t forgiven Jaroslav Halak for what he did to the Capitals.


Boudreau’s Ducks host Halak and the Blues tonight. Thus, the question about 2010.

To refresh your memory, Halak led the underdog Canadiens to a shocking first-round upset of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals in 2010. He stopped all but three of the 134 shots he faced in In Games 5, 6 and 7, and was named first star in all three outings.

“I thought we had a good chance to win the Stanley Cup this year,” Boudreau said after Game 7, “and I would have bet my house that they wouldn’t have beaten us three games in a row and we would have only scored three goals in almost 140 shots.”

The Habs advanced to the second round where they pulled off another upset, this time over the defending champion Penguins, and once again in large part due to Halak.

So it wasn’t just the Caps who fell victim to brilliant goaltending.

But for Washington, the first-round elimination led to a major change in strategy. The next season Boudreau was preaching defense while eschewing run-and-gun hockey. The Capitals still won a lot of regular-season games, but they scored almost 100 fewer goals and were swept in the second round of the playoffs by Tampa Bay.

Along the way, Washington’s superstar, Alex Ovechkin, seemed to lose his zest for the game. Clearly the new, conservative approach wasn’t as fun to play. Or, for that matter, watch.

All of which begs the question, if Boudreau thought Halak was such a major factor in the series, why did he change his team’s style so dramatically? Not saying the Caps would’ve done any better if they kept running and gunning — just wondering which direction they would’ve taken if not for an unheralded goalie that went on an amazing run.

  1. taytay099 - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Sometimes a hot goalie is all it takes. Just look at Cam Ward.

    The Caps were the best team in the league and wanted to change their identity to a defense first team? What a huge mistake that was.

    • govtminion - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Man, no kidding. As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It might not have always worked as well as the Caps might have liked, but it’s okay to let in four goals a game if you’re scoring six most nights. It also made for exciting hockey.

      My wife got into watching hockey with me (at that point we were dating) because the Caps were exciting to watch, it was actually entertaining. She’s even admitted that if I’d tried to get her to watch the Caps as they are now, she’d probably have gotten bored and read a book instead. (These days, I’d probably join her!)

  2. scottybcboy - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Hey Brough,
    Love the site and all but can’t you incorporate a little more of the Kurtenblog.
    Being from Van City, I miss what you used to be….c’mon jist a couple cat pics once and a while would suffice.

    • taytay099 - Mar 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      Perhaps a Simpsons reference.

      I personally miss the Friday messenger the most.

  3. pastabelly - Mar 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    The real question is why didn’t he trade for Halk, who was available.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    So what? I’m still pissed at Roenick for scoring in game 6.

  5. rsl22 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    That was an unbelievable run for Halak. I have been watching the Caps lose in the playoffs for almost 30 years, and have never seen anything like that:

    Game 1 OT win – Stopped 45 of 47 for .957 S%.
    Game 5 win – Stopped 37 of 38 .974 S%.
    Game 6 win – Stopped 53 of 54 for .981 S%.
    Game 7 win – Stopped 41 of 42 for .976 S%.

    In game 6 the Caps outshot MTL 54-21, in game 7 Habs were outshot 42-16!!! It was unbelievable.

  6. broadstbully33 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    “It pinballs to the crease!” Mike Richards goal…..unforgettable

  7. bobhpine - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Right. That Caps team had the heart to win it all…they were only a mere 13 wins away from the Cup. A team that never even made it to the conference finals sure seemed “destined” to do a lot more.

  8. sfbookreviews - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Maybe Bruce should save some of that ire for the once-great 8. It was Ovechkin who said he saw Halak “shaking” after giving up a goal, suggesting the kid was frightened by the paper tiger the Caps were that year. It was all laughs at the time in D.C. Didn’t last long though.

    • rsl22 - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      I think it was Carey Price that OV said was shaking. Price was terrible in his 2.5 games. Halak was friggan’ Superman.

  9. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    What if Theodore didn’t throw his stick?

  10. vanfoodman - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    When I saw the headline I thought he was pissed about Halak’s spear on Perry from tonight’s game.

  11. modellforprez - Mar 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    hot sauce boudreau thinks he’s mad the yinzers still have a bounty on youraslob halak. he came into the iron igloo and stole mines. so when the blues lose in the semifinals this year he’ll kno who was behind it.

  12. kitshky - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    its a lil funny…

  13. kitshky - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Gad this site is irritating at times… this wasnt for this post at all.

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