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Boudreau: ‘You don’t want to ever intentionally embarrass another team’

Jan 16, 2014, 2:35 AM EDT

bruceboudreaugetty Getty Images

With their winning streak and a bombastic 9-1 victory in mind, the Anaheim Ducks could be justified in bragging a little bit after Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, head coach Bruce Boudreau seemed to express some regrets.

Specifically, he doesn’t seem very comfortable with it being a record-breaking blowout.

“I don’t like those kinds of games,” Boudreau said. “You don’t want to ever intentionally embarrass another team. I’ve been on the other end of those scores, so I know what it feels like.”

Teemu Selanne‘s been around the block as well, so it makes sense that he expressed similar sentiments about the later stages of the contest, when the Canucks were shorthanded for an extended amount of time and the contest was well out of reach.

“We didn’t want to finish the game like that,” Selanne said. “I know there were a couple of guys who had a chance to get a hat trick, but it’s almost embarrassing to even try. But, what are you going to say? It’s a good thing we won. But we can’t really get too high about this one.”

With back-to-back games against Western Conference powers Chicago and St. Louis coming up, it’s not like they have a ton of time to celebrate, anyway.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:18 AM

    The fact that this comes up past youth sports is ridiculous; especially at the pro level.

    • goodolejr - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      I completely agree. These guys are playing at the highest level in the world, if you don’t want to be embarrassed, don’t let them score. It’s that simple. I don’t remember who it was but there was a quote I read awhile ago from an NFL receiver that went something like “If you don’t want to see me dancing in your end zone, don’t let me in there.”

      • thailer35 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Teams shouldn’t be expected to let up either. Goal differential is the 4th tie breaker for standings. Granted, it’s fairly unlikely it will end up mattering, but it would be a rough way to be out of a playoff spot because of a handful of goals you could have scored in a lopsided affair, but instead you let up so as not to embarrass the other team.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        4th tie breaker, come on.

        Can you name the last time the 4th tie breaker was relevant? Hell can you name ONE time the third tie breaker was relevant?

      • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        regardless of whether it’s happened or not, “but it would be a rough way to be out of a playoff spot” still applies in full.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        Hey, you’re right, it could happen.

        I mean, the scoreboard could collapse on your entire first line if you put them out at the end of a laugher to run up the score further and cement your fourth-tiebreaker supremacy, too..

        Doesn’t matter that it’s never happened and almost certainly never will right? ;)

      • 950003cups - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Threre’s no disrespect in scoring a bunch of goals. You can always pull your starting goalie so he could rest for the next game. Put in your back up, ease off on your top lines, and give your 3rd and 4th offense and 3rd pairing defense lines the extra minutes. If you still score, then its not on you. The other team simply quit.

      • m1k3g - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        The way I see it, tortorella had it coming. He was running his mouth earlier in the day about how the canucks were basically going to thug it up.

        Even in the last 5 minutes of the game, the canucks were taking cheap shots. They were down 2 from pretty much 7 minutes left in the game all the way to the final horn. During this sequence they were called for *3* more slashing penalties!

        During one of the delayed calls, boudreau felt so bad that as anderson skated to the bench, boudreau waved him off and sent him back to the net.

        Hey coach Dunlop, er I mean tortorella… Maybe next time you should try having the sedin twins do a striptease to turn things around….

      • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        that’s what I just said. no, it doesn’t matter if it hasn’t happened before or not. but clearly there’s no reason arguing this further. you’re so set in your belief, that you aren’t even reading my opinion.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        ibieniid, there’s no reason arguing it at all – if your entire point is that “wouldn’t it suck if it did happen” then yes, it would, I completely agree.

        But it is so far outside of the realm of normal probability that it doesn’t enter into the decision-making of coaches and players and so in my opinion “they have to run up the score because it might be the difference between making or missing the playoffs” is effectively false.

        I mean you don’t see a team pulling their goaltender because they feel like it gives them a shot to win by 5 while they are up 4 (and the worst case scenario is they only win by 3) right?

      • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        it’s funny you have to put the qualifier “effectively” in there…. ya know…. because it’s not false.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        I put effectively in there so we can keep this discussion within the bounds of reality.

        I never said it’s impossible for the fourth tiebreaker to come into play, I just asked for one single example of it even being a possibility (by say, teams being tied and the first and second – nevermind the third – tiebreakers being unable to resolve it).

        Again, if your point is that the fourth tiebreaker exists then you’ll get no argument from me.

        If your point is that it has any real likelihood of coming up, nevermind to the point where it affects a team’s gameplan, then I’ll disagree all day. Because it never has and most likely never will.

    • flash8910 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      I follow the Jimmy Johnson philosophy. I will stop scoring when the other team stops.

      While it sucks to lose 9-1. Do you know what sucks more, to have a big lead then tone it down then lose the game.

    • jhmiddleton81 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Yeah I agree, my motto is, if you don’t like it, stop it. There is nothing else to say about it, don’t blame me for you not being good enough to stop me. I have been in a situation where I was on a breakaway in a blowout and my coach screamed at me to shoot it wide! It is an absolute joke to tell someone to not try, because they’re getting their butts kicked. How are they going to learn if you just let up? It is a stupid thing, and if I was a coach I would say put up 18 if you can, who cares it is there problem

      • goodolejr - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        To me it seems more disrespectful to say “we know you guys can’t score, so we’re not even going to try anymore.” That’s the stuff I do when I’m playing sports with my 3 year old nephew, not grown men.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      I don’t see what’s so ridiculous about it.

      I mean, I get what you guys are saying.

      But the fact is that these players are professionals who take pride in their jobs and they are all going to play against one another many many more times.

      What do the Ducks have to gain from making it 8-1? 9-1? 10-1? etc. Sure they can pad some stats but like Teemu said it’s embarrassing to even try.

      The Canucks should be ashamed of their effort last night and they certainly should be ashamed of the result on the scoreboard.

      But for the Ducks, why add insult to injury when the only result (given your opponent is playing like crap and is more or less unable to stop the barrage) is going to be the game going sideways like it did last night, or your opponent coming out next time feeling like they have a score to settle?

      I don’t think there’s a problem per se with lopsided victories but I think players and coaches often take the long view and see little benefit in winning by 8 or 9 vs. 4 or 5 (an insurmountable lead in the Western Conference).

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        To elaborate…

        The Canucks played like garbage last night. It happens; most teams have one or two really bad losses in the course of a season and a team like the Canucks (mired in a bad stretch and lots of roster turnover due to missing players) is trying to just hold on at this point until they can get a bit healthier and regroup.

        But it’s still a team full of professionals, like the players on most non-loser franchises they take pride in their abilities and don’t like to lose. On a night like last night where they simply can’t keep the puck out of their net, frustrations are going to build. And in a league like this one where players are left to solve their problems with physical play and with their fists it’s only natural that to some extent they are going to start taking their frustrations out on the opponent.

        (And let’s not pretend the Canucks are somehow unique in this way, despite many commenters obvious joy in kicking them while they are down)

        Look at that second Sestito/Jackman fight. The game is over, long over, and a Duck player is taking the puck to the front of the Canucks net. What are they supposed to if not lay claim to their own territory on the ice? What is Sestito’s job if not to play his role and help keep morale up? So he buries the Duck forward, and with Jackman on the ice (it’s his job to make sure his teammates don’t get pushed around) the rest of the story pretty well writes itself.

        And as long as the Ducks keep pushing, it keeps happening. The game is over (how many times have you seen a team come back from six goals behind in the last decade), what do the Ducks have to gain from courting it further?

        I don’t know, I mean – it’s ridiculous but it’s also just the way hockey games play themselves out. Every blow out has that uneasy feeling like it could just erupt and it’s because these guys are taught for a long time to be proud and to solve their problems with violence.

      • cofran2004 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        I don’t think you needed to elaborate. We got the point after your first wall o’text.

        That said, I agree with you.

      • stevemackenzie58 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        So, the Ducks stop shooting the puck, and stop playing altogether? Where is the integriry in that? Vancouver wasn’t going to stop with the cheap shots and the fighting. Its not like the Ducks were shooting at an empty net, although it seemed like it. 15-1 wouldn’t have been enough for all the crap Vanciuver pulled. And the Ducks feel sorry for them? Absurd.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        @cofran2004: I was on a roll, sorry about that. That said I think quoting a chapter or two from the James Joyce opus Finnegan’s Wake would make it clear as to why I felt elaboration was necessary:

        “The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-
        ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since dev-linsfirst loved livvy.”

        It goes on like that for another few hundred pages, but I know you you appreciate brevity, so…

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        @stevemackenzie58: No.

        I’m not saying they should stop shooting the puck. I’m not really criticizing what they did at all, just offering up an explanation to the several people above me who seem to be mystified about why professionals don’t just run up the score like crazy.

        Usually what you see towards the end of a big rout like this one is, the first line gets a rest. Any powerplay time the coach uses to reward his depth players. In fact most of the rest of the game they just roll the lines. Players play and it’s not like if there’s a wide open net they find a reason not to shoot, but by the same token they don’t go crash the net looking for a goal, or hot dogging it, or celebrating like they just won the cup when they extend their team’s lead from seven goals to eight.

        Again I’m not saying this to criticize anyone last night, this is just how these things usually go.

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    What a strange era this is in the NHL. It’s considered OK to fight someone and punch his face in, but it’s somehow not OK to score as many goals as you can? WTF? Until quite recently the feeling was: If you don’t want my team to beat you 11-1, then play better hockey. Now it’s: Oh, I’m so sorry for hurting your feelings by scoring 9 goals, I’ll ease up now and just skate around so as to not cause you any further upset. Very strange indeed.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:56 AM

      That’s more of an insult to me. “Okay, we beat you already. Now we don’t even have to try hard,” is essentially how I’d take it. My mens league team get’s rolled badly pretty much every night. We’ve actually had a team ask us if we wanted them to back off. We told them no for that very reason. We lost 10-3.

      Then again…. We just use it as an excuse to go out afterwards, drink beer, and eat wings. It’s not my career.

  3. rushledger - Jan 16, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I can understand the logic to not embarrassing the other team, you don’t want a Sestito type player taking a run at your better players but it is stupid in a lot ways to let off the trigger when you can score more.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      I also wonder how much this plays in: beating the hell out of a team puts a huge chip on their shoulder for the next couple times they play. Maybe Gabby was saying he doesn’t like those kind of games because they can mean having to face a team that wants to avenge their huge loss from the last one.

      the linked game log doesn’t go into much more detail than the PHT one.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        by all that, I’m referring to scoring rather than fighting. I realize it kinda sounds like I was just repeating you.

  4. sharknad0 - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    Pretty classy

  5. flash8910 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    The Canucks deserved everything they got last night after they started to goon it up. I mean seriously have some balls at least. Going after Vatanen, one of the smallest dudes. Plus, the game wouldn’t have been out of controlled if they played some D. Canucks D tipped in more goals on their own net than scored against the ducks. Both of Perry’s were tipped in by Canucks d.

  6. stonebullet - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    I get the sentiment from the Ducks, it’s sportsmanlike that they care and a classy move. However, these are multi-millionaires playing this game for their livelihood and for entertaining us. I say run it up if they can’t stop you at the NHL level.

  7. comeonnowguys - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    “Well, they tell ya, never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is on occasion hilarious.”

  8. stevemackenzie58 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    I think Boudreau was just saying the right thing. Did he mean it? I doubt it. Vancouver embarrassed themselves. What were the Ducks supposed to do? Stop playing? Goals are hard to come by in the NHL. If you can’t keep the puck out of your net, that is on you. Maybe Vancouver should have quit the game after the 2nd period. That would have looked a lot better than the cowardly display they showed in the 3rd. The entire league is laughing at those clowns.

  9. canada2014gold - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    I agree, it’s more embarrassing if the ducks start taking it easy on the canucks. Now gillis is going to come out and say that he just wants to evaluate the team when burrows comes back. Somebody get rid of this guy, he’s made a mess of this team.

  10. ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I know I bring this up on every post about running up scores, but it makes this a complete non-argument. Goal differential, while not THAT important, does figure into tiebreaking. Score as many goals as possible, your postseason may depend on it (well, prly not in the Ducks case, but you catch my drift).

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Like I just said above (goal differential if the fourth tie breaker), has the third tie breaker ever even been used?

      • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        and like I said above, whether or not it’s happened already is a non-issue. it’s a rule, and your season could POSSIBLY rely on it.

  11. bucrightoff - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    The Canucks embarassed themselves last night. The Goon show is apparently how they earn those ever so important “Moral Victories” that usually go to teams who don’t actually win.

  12. stepanup - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Vancouver absolutely earned what they got in this one. The Canuck’s goons put the rest of the team in that position, and they were embarassed for it. But that doesn’t mean the Ducks have to be proud of it either.

  13. Kim Mack Rosenberg - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I agree that it is a very sportsmanlike attitude displayed by the Ducks here but, in the end, it is Vancouver that embarrassed itself. By the last half of the third period they were completely untethered – not only could they not buy a goal but their emotions/frustrations got the better of them. I understand the Ducks not wanting to run up goals just for the sake of notching points but they do have to play 60 minutes of hockey and it is Vancouver’s responsibility to try to minimize goals against not the Ducks’ job not to take shots.

  14. scoops1 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    …”Its not worth winning if you can’t win big…”

    • goodolejr - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      Hahahaha thanks for this!

  15. km9000 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    The Ducks had a 5-on-3 for the last 7 minutes, and Canucks kept going to the box, so not wanting to run up the score was a more conscious thing than if it were even-strength and the defense is just struggling. The Ducks scored twice, but they pretty much could’ve scored at will, especially with their firepower. So yeah, that would’ve been kind of uncomfortable.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      I had a wrestling coach in high school who was huge on sportsmanship. We also had a state chapionship-aspiring 130 pounder on the team. Whats worse is he knew it. One match up, coach put him two classes up because he didn’t want to take a forfeit at 140, and slotted me into the 130 pound class so I could grab a forfreit for the team (I was JV at the time). The other guy lost his match, but only by a few points. We won the meet because I made weight, and our coach out coached the other team.

      However…

      The other guy had a posse on the team that was mad that coach was willing to sacrifice his undefeated record for the team to get a win. ALL of them sulked, and went to the locker room for the rest of the match. Here is where this becomes relevant…

      How our coach looked the next day at practice is how I imagine tortorella after huge losses or problems like this. Coach came into the room…arms by his side, head down, face red, and breathing heavy. “I..! ….YOU!” *points at premadonna* And all of you!!! *whips his arm in an arc, meaning the whole team* “I’m f***ing ashamed of all of you. Ya know what? go the f*** home. I can’t even look at you!”

      The way he was pacing…. like a rabid dog ready to rip us apart. I still have nightmares. THAT’S what torts reminds me of.

  16. cso1296 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Last night was just absolutely glorious. Funny how the Canucks and their fans are so quick to call other teams dirty and classless, yet when they get embarrassed they turn into the ultimate goon team. Enjoy your first round exit asshats.

  17. hosewater2 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Hats off to Boudreau, thank goodness so many in the NHL hold onto some semblance of sportsmanship and honor…in contrast to other leagues where pot smoking street kids inflate their egos and stats at every opportunity.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      hmm… wonder what he means by pot smoking street kids. it’s a mystery.

  18. canada2014gold - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I’m a canucks fan and I have to say, all this complaining is a joke. We got outplayed plain and simple. They need to take their lumps and I thought the ducks showed a lot of class.

  19. mackstrong2013 - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    I love how every Canucks article turns into a bunch of Muppets who don’t like the Canucks having their periods sync up. Last night was terrible, tonight will damn sure be better. The world keeps on turning.

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