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Ask Bruce Boudreau anything, 10 a.m.


(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


A few overdue morning links:

*Will Coach Bruce Boudreau finally provide an answer to the question on everyone's mind? (Was Paul Newman nice in person?) Chat coming up at 10 a.m.

*Sidney Crosby is "alone at the top," says SI. (Bog)

*Rachel Cohen draws Alex Ovechkin's alter ego. (RMNB)

*Semyon Varlamov on the "raging sea of red." (Japers' Rink)

*Time to root for da Bears. (Ted's Take)


By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 11, 2010; 9:09 AM ET
 
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Comments

Again, Backstrom did not turn down going to the tournament because he felt the competition was not worth his time. There are two reasons why he didn't go. First, he still has not signed his next contract so he cannot risk permanent injury. Second, he suffered an injury during the Canadiens series.

http://www.japersrink.com/2010/5/4/1456680/2009-10-rink-wrap-nicklas-backstrom

"It's hard to find too much that didn't go right for Backstrom in 2009-10. His season - like that of the entire team - ended in crash-and-burn fashion, but for Backstrom there's a bit of an explanation: he dislocated his shoulder in Game 3."

These Caps players can't win. Some want to trash Ovi and Semin for going. Others have trashed Green for not going (due to a wrist injury and GMGM recommended he give it a rest, he said that in his interview), saying he is throwing a tantrum and not going because he was not selected for the Olympic team, and still others will commend Backstrom for not going but refuse to look at the reasons why he didn't go.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Is Bruce still a go today Lindsay?

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Is there something wrong with the chat? I was watching it a while ago, but can't see it now.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chat fail.

Posted by: jincargo | May 11, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Still publicly, Bruce is Green apologist. I would love to hear how his conversations with Green go when the two are in private.

There's no mistaking that Green needs more focused effort when he needs to chase down a puck or we don't have the puck. Maybe next season? I had hoped the defense would get better with Bruce's right-hand man, Bob Woods, here - not to mention the PK. Both were a glaring weakness again.

On to next season. Go Caps!

Posted by: cwiseman | May 11, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

trade Green for Josh Gorges!!

Posted by: joek443 | May 11, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

just read the transcript of the chat: what a bunch of powder-puff, crap questions.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@Doughless,
Sorry you didn't get the satisfaction of reading Coach getting raked over the coals. Well, actually, I'm not. It was still a decent read.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

what a fluff job of an interview, at least half those questions shed no light on anything.

"Bruce Boudreau: I would not take Mike Green out of the lineup. We won Games 2, 3 and 4, so there was no need to make any changes for Game 5."

that's why you're a dope Bruce. Because any coach worth his weight in gold understands that you don't base everything on the end result. Sometimes a player can play awful and hold your team back and that should precipitate a change even if your team pulled out a victory. To make a blanket statement like you never make changes after a win is just stupid as they come.

_______________________

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:

i just don't think BB gets it. watching the Habs play raises a question:

Is the problem for the Caps:

1) the players are young and get frustrated easy and refuse to stick with the system for 60 minutes, or

2) is it that the Coach is a one trick pony and gets frustrated when his system doesn't work for 20 minutes and then decides to throw a bunch of ad hoc lines and PP units out on the ice ??

I think in either case, coaching is at the crux of the problem. Sorry to point to the Habs again, but lets face it, talent-wise the Caps are heads and shoulders above. But, that talent was mostly negated by a well planned strategy by Jacques Martin and then the WHOLE TEAM sticking with it to the bitter end. They are still implementing as a team against the Pens. To me the Caps seem like an ADHD teenager; can only stick to anything for a short time, then they all go their individual ways. The "coach" has got to have some control over the players or make them pay if they don't (can you say sit out). seems to me that the Caps superstars are either tuning "Gabby" out or have really short memories.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

here is a perfect example:

question: One thing that confounded fans this year is how quickly and how often you would switch up the personnel on the lines, especially since injuries weren't as big a factor this year as compared to last year. Could you explain why you tinker with your lines so much?

Bruce Boudreau: We had a lot of players at the end of the year and we wanted to keep everyone involved. That is a reason we moved lines around a lot. We always kept the first line together unless they were not playing well at the time. Once we got Belanger here, we were trying to find the best chemistry - was it with Semin? Was it with Fehr? We also wanted to try to find the best fit for Walker. It was difficult. In a perfect world we would like all the lines to fit perfectly, but we had to try different combinations more than I would have liked.


what kind of answer is that? This guy is the coach and he can't come up with alternative lines?? In the run up to the playoffs, Gabby said he was tweaking lines to discover what worked. Instead, he threw alternative lines on the ice against the Habs that looked slapdash. Seems like he kept the wrong people involved, Flash being the main offender.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Mark:

i see no coals, and definitely no raking over coals.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Even though Green didn't play well in the playoffs it would have been idiotic to bench him since he was still clearly one of the Caps top 6 defensemen.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Habs taught the Caps a really hard lesson. It sucks and it's bitter, but it is an unfortunate learning experience. These guys are professionals. In their review of what happened, they will adjust and be that much stronger next year. They don't like what happened any more than we do.
Some players won't be back next season, but we will still have a really strong team for years and should be playing in June more than once.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think expecting BB to detail out his total thought process on every question is unreasonable. You are going to get generalized answers if you get an answer. The answers to some of the questions being asked here are certainly uncomfortable. They will answer them with actions and adjustments, not explanations in detail to satisfy some people on a message board.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

BB's answer about line juggling after the deadline might have been plausible had he not been known as a serial line juggler throwout his tenure here.

His answer about Fehr also doesn't make sense. He said that giving Fehr more ice time would have meant cutting 28 and 22's ice time. BB had no problem switching Gordon, Steckel, and Laich between wing and center, moving Sloan from D to wing,and even having Flash play every forward position at some point this season.

Also, Semin is a natural LW. If BB believed that Fehr could only play RW, why not move Semin to LW and have Fehr play 2nd line RW? It's not like BB was eager to have the SOB line on ice anyway.

I don't usually agree with doughless, but I think BB's determination to keep Flash in the lineup was a huge part of the problem.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 11, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

what, did anybody expect that he was going to be asked if he could keep his job if the caps didn't win the cup next year?

btw i'm sick of hearing about the bears too, that's not our real hockey team. too many calder cups mean the talent isn't being managed right. yes, that means gmgm

Posted by: r4e11 | May 11, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@Mark:

i don't expect a thesis in response to every question, but if BB is not going to share any kind of insight why even do the q & a??

seriously, listen to a guy like Mike Babcock. he seems to give some good insight in very succinct, no BS answers.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

The Sharks benched Marleau for a game with the "flu" and he was their leading goal scorer during the regular season. Montreal have been without Markov most of this series and Gill yesterday. Green could have sat.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 11, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, the title of this piece was bogus.... "Ask BB anything."

I put in a question two days ago asking if he will reconsider his "optional" practice stance next year seeing as how the team folded this year. I also asked his thought on the Captain of the team not attending any optional practices and does that really send the message he wants to send to all of the other players.

Guess they were too tough to address.

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | May 11, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

seems to me that if a coach is serious about team systems and consistent play, the ultimate ammo they have to get the results they want is to sit folks that don't adhere to the team plan. barring that, why should a young susperstar take a coach seriously?? seems like it gets to the point of the player tuning out the coach. perhaps that was Hanlon's problem. could soon be Boudreau's if he doesn't exert some authority with the players.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@Doughless,
And Babcock doesn't always go in to detail or answer the question. Some times the no BS answer he gives is a simple no answer. I don't think any of the coaches give as full an answer as some people want and when they are on the losing end the answers are even less complete.

I'll bet BB has watched those tapes over and over again and he will make some adjustments to his thought processes. I think he is a great coach and he has not had the successes he has had by not learning from mistakes.

The players have some soul searching to do as well. Some of them will end up refining their game with another team next season.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

RBlatch:

sound like some legit questions to me. Perhaps WAPO has an agreement with the team to only allow softballs. Tarik or Lindsey would have to address that. seems oddly coincidental that all to most of the questions offered up during the "anything" goes q & a were all POWDER PUFFS

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@Mark:

what success has BB had at the nhl level?

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

BB turned around a floundering club and made the playoffs in his first year. Our early exit was the product of some poor officiating and an exhausted team. His second year he advanced another round deeper in the playoffs, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion. This year was a disappointment after the regular season as you may have noticed. He has made strides and has been successful. Even Bowman took some time to get his Cup. Some here are ready to move on to another coach and start all over again. I am not of that opinion. I believe that he is capable of getting us to a Cup.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Trade Mike Green for Josh Gorges? HA!

We couldn't get a bag of pucks and a net for Mike Green right now....

Posted by: 850-850 | May 11, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@Rblatch,
They just chose a different version of your question.

As hard and physical as Ovie plays, perhaps it is best that optional is optional. Of course that doesn't mean he isn't in the back doing some other off ice activities.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hate to see all the Bruce Bashing.....boy this has become a tuff hockey town. Bruce got us back to respectfull. He wins the Jack Adams for coach of the year. Has a almost 700 winning percentage and people want to dump him......geeeez.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I asked why wasn't Green sat for an injured hand so it could heal....or was that his excuse for poor play two years in a row?

Posted by: CB28031 | May 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Calling for BB's firing at this point is pure lunacy and those espousing such a viewpoint are idiots............. and please don't recite your hockey backgrounds as justification for giving such a stupid opinion. Not listening.....

Posted by: croftonpost | May 12, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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