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Boudreau has ‘never coached a team in the NHL’ with a 2C like Kesler

Jul 9, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

Bruce Boudreau AP

“I’ve never coached a team in the NHL that’s had a second-line center that you’re going to have with Ryan Kesler. It’s a great [acquisition], and it gets you excited.”

That was Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau (per, talking about his team’s big offseason acquisition from Vancouver. A former Selke Trophy winner, Kesler will play behind Anaheim’s top center, Hart Trophy finalist Ryan Getzlaf, giving the Ducks one of the top 1-2 center combinations in the NHL.

“This makes us a bona fide threat to become an elite team,” said Boudreau.

So, exciting times for Ducks fans, who saw firsthand what the Los Angeles Kings did with a one-two combo of Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter in these past playoffs.

But fans of the Washington Capitals may also have perked up at Boudreau’s remarks, given the cavalcade of second-line centers that auditioned in D.C. to play behind Nicklas Backstrom.

From Japers’ Rink:

The last time the Capitals entered an offseason knowing who the second-line center would be for the upcoming season was 2008, and Sergei Fedorov was playing for the Caps. Fedorov retired from the NHL after that 2008-09 season, and in each of the ensuing four and a half seasons the Capitals have had to find a new player to handle the second-line center spot.

The 2C spot is still up for grabs in Washington, with Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich and Evgeny Kuznetsov expected to compete for the role following the departure of Mikhail Grabovski to Long Island.

  1. lowenni - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    To answer your question, yes–he did play in Washington, which is what he’s saying. He didn’t have a 2C in Washington. Caps might have one now in Kuznetsov, but he never had a guy like Kesler here. True statement.

    • lowenni - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      *coach in Washington

    • patthehockeyfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      I think Kuznetsov is going to be super-special. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think he’ll eventually eclipse Ovechkin. Right work ethic, good skills that will only get better, seems to have a good head on his shoulders. It’ll be exciting to watch him, and chart how his play progresses.

      • lowenni - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        I don’t know if he’s going to reach Ovechkin’s previous totals of 60 goals and 100+ points–those were pretty special seasons. But I do really like what I saw from him in the 18 or so games he played. He looks aware on defense, hard-working, but most of all it’s his skill that stands out. The fact that he put up about 10 points in those games despite not ever playing on North American ice, coming over after an injury riddled season, and playing a lot of it on the fourth line is really promising. I just think he might be better suited as a RW unless he really improves on the faceoff dot. I’m excited, and with Burakovsky coming in as well the Caps should have a good top-6. I’m hearing Burakovsky is ready to make the leap.

    • blomfeld - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:20 AM

      YEAH ? …

      WELL ENJOY YOUR NEW ‘2C’ THEN KOJAK !!! :) :) :)

  2. patthehockeyfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    “This makes us a bona fide threat to become an elite team,” said Boudreau.

    Wanna bet Boudreau still finds a way to screw it up?

    • storminator16 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Yeap: goalies.

    • rsl22 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Last I checked, Mr. Pringle doesn’t lace ’em up at game time.

      The Caps made a mistake firing him. If he had a legitimate 2C and anyone besides Jeff Schultz to play with Green, the Caps playoff failures may well be a different story. Sometimes a coach is clearly to blame, but Boudreau just wasn’t provided the right tools to win in DC; the blame should have been put on GMGM, not Boudreau.

      • patthehockeyfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Re: Caps: “… may well be a different story.” We’ll never know, and it’s a waste of time hypothesizing.

        I was referring to Anaheim in my comment, and storminator16 hit the nail on the head.

        Caps or Ducks, Boudreau can’t seem to bring the big one home.

  3. raleighcaniac - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Let me hear your between periods speech again Bruce; the best…

    • wutangwild - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      so many F-bombs lol

  4. rsl22 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Funny that he added, “in the NHL.” Were Alexander Giroux and Dave Steckel that good in Hershey?

  5. flyboystransport - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Kesler is likely gonna be hurt a lot so he still isn’t gonna know what it’s like to have a 2nd line center like kesler

    • notan9ner - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      You took the letters right out of my fingers.

      Not to mention Bonino had more points last year than Kesler.

      If he thinks Kesler is gonna get him by the kings he has another thing comming.

      Break a leg on your new team kes, we are all waiting.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:30 AM

      Kesler is a machine in the playoffs and when the money is on the line. the guy plays balls out in those situations.

      anyone who thinks kesler will get injured or is injury prone should realize that his injuries last season were on Tortellini and he won’t be over utilized in Anaheim to the same extent.

      Anaheim will challenge for the conference again.

      if Kesler gets injured it’s not cuz he’s quote, “fragile”… it’s cuz he’s playing hard minutes.

      • scout202sport - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:52 AM

        You don’t think a 2nd line center in Anaheim is going to get over used? Did you not read what the coach said? No-neck thinks Kesler is going to be the answer for the Ducks.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        He won’t be playing 25 minutes a game

  6. mcflower29 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    i expect a titanic playoff battle between the kings and the ducks again.

  7. stixzidinia - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    Federov? That guys was in the twilight of his career when he was in Washington. He wasn’t on the level Kesler is now. Nothing wrong with the Fatman’s statement.

  8. watermelon1 - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:29 PM


    Well that’s a new one to me!

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