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Boudreau: 'This Isn't a Country Club'

All morning, Bruce Boudreau stalked around Kettler Capitals Iceplex with a scowl on his face. And when he met with reporters later, he didn't mince his words.

He was angry. About as angry as he's been since becoming head coach of the Caps last November.

"If they're not going to work to our standards during the game, then they're going to work that hard during practice," he said. "I've been through a lot of those, and they're not fun. I'm trying to send a message that the coaching staff was displeased with the effort."

"We didn't compete. I'm not used to it. Here we had a chance. We see everyone else in our division losing."

Boudreau said the players knew what was coming, and even the ones nursing bumps and bruises like Mike Green, Tom Poti, John Erskine and Brent Johnson decided to go out and take their punishment.

"Players in this situation don't want to take the day off because they don't want to be looked at as pulling the chute," he said. "There were some guys who were tired, but they took it like men."

"If you do it every day, and you harp every day, then it goes in one ear and out the other," Boudreau continued. "It's not motivation. If it's sort of out of character, then people know you are legitimately are not happy. Like with your parents, you could tell when you were a kid when they were mad, and when they really meant business."

He didn't stop there.

"You haven't seen me, in a year, do that," Boudreau added. "It's the first time where we went end-to-end for 50 minutes, nonstop. I don't want to use the word punishment. Everyone would have loved to have had Sunday off and relax and enjoy themselves. But this isn't a country club. If you come to work you're going to get rewarded. If you don't come to work then you will pay the price."

Asked whether that motivation must come from inside the dressing room, Boudreau said:

"You have to have the leadership in the room to motivate them internally. I know we do have it. It's just whether anybody is shy about it because [of] their game. A lot of guys won't do it unless they think their game is going good enough where they can do it. It's like, 'How can I stand up and say something if I'm playing like crap?'"

A few other notes and quotes:

*Boudreau said a decision on a possible recall has not been made. "We'll see how things go tomorrow [with Morrisonn]," he said. "We can fly anyone into Ottawa."

*Eric Fehr could get into the lineup, Boudreau said. But no decision has been made on that, either. "He had a great practice, so we'll see," he said.

*Theodore also took some of the blame for last night's debacle. Theodore yielded four goals on 18 shots through the first 40 minutes. There were plenty of breakdowns in front of him, but there were also a few saves he needed to come up with, he said.

"The Sabres were ready and we were not," said Theodore, whose goals against ballooned to 3.44 with a save percentage of .877. "But as a goalie, it's my job to make the saves when the team is not ready. I can bail out the team when they make some mistakes."

"The first goal was a mistake [Thomas Vanek skating around Green] but I have to make the save and keep it 0-0," he said. "When we do play the system, we play solid games and we keep the goals against as low as any team in the league. But when we are a step behind the system, when we don't execute, we give up some quality chances."

"But as a goalie, it doesn't matter if you have 10 shots or 50 shots, you try to give your team a chance to win. And last night, obviously, I don't think I played the way I played the previous four or five games."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 2, 2008; 1:46 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Punishing Practice For Caps (Update)
Next: Ovechkin Back In Town


I am glad to see Johnny getting the nod for Tuesday.

Posted by: _Mark | November 2, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, coach! Work their butts off and call them out when they need it. A solid kick in the rear might get them going.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

According to your own logic, yelling man, they might not be with the team even if they WERE ready--due to the salary cap issue.

And I agree about Alzner; people give him a little too much credit without having seen him. But I think Sami could easily come up and out perform at least a couple of our D.

Posted by: _jordan | November 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Last nights game was a freakin' disaster. I think it might be a good idea for the guys to tune out all of the media & blogs for a while and focus on the game. Glad that there was some consequences for the actions last night. Hopefully with Ovechkin back that will jump start the guys against the Sens Tuesday.

Posted by: migz | November 2, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I feel better about Theodore taking personal responsibility. I don't think he's been that bad. His defense has been absolutely horrid. But he stepped up, and said "IT'S MY FAULT."

Accountability is the first step. Other people need to do that on the roster.

Posted by: Whitermage | November 2, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes coaches throw games like this out the window, BB obviously is seeing this as a result of a trend and it seems like a lot of us agree!

The team as a whole is overdue for a kick in the butt. Most of the penalties I saw were our people trying to make up for being out-skated.

But I don't think Semin deserved special flogging like he got for his performance. I saw him doing some good things out there. I didn't watch the entire game tho.

...I did see Laich try to negate at least two icings

Posted by: austinsteve | November 2, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see BB is capable of being the drill seargent if it's warrented. I thought he might be a little too soft personality wise when he was hired to deliver a swift kick in the pants when needed. My fears are put to rest. Nobody likes to see this sort of thing but we all need a reality check once in awhile. Here's hoping the team responds on Tuesday like Buffalo responded to their coach on Saturday. I'm betting they will.
Also, it's always refreshing to see the Caps players take responsibilty for their poor play and not point fingers, make excuses or dodge the interviews.

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 2, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

They're all saying the right things, but they have been after each loss -- "it's my fault," "we didn't work hard enough," and other comments all signify that they think it's their fault, but considering that they go out and play a game like last night, you have to wonder if it means anything. I'd rather them be so angry that they can't say anything, due to the sheer force of their disappointment. I'd rather see them breaking sticks in the hallways than commenting like that.

Let's wake some real emotion up in this team!

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 2, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be the one to say it, but I think they are missing some of Olie's fire in the locker room. Aside from Bruce, who goes in there and really takes the team to task for the job they are doing on the ice? I would hope Clark would..but in that locker room..olie was the fire.

I'm not saying that we miss him in the net..though I do..but in the locker room....DEFINITELY

Posted by: lloydrj727 | November 2, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, Olie's stats are better than both Jose's and Huet's. I'll be curious to see how that plays out as the season progresses.

Posted by: Boo- | November 2, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse


For what it's worth, Clark and Brash both were slamming their sticks and talking to guys out there today. I would have to think that Boudreau was talking about Clark not stepping up to a leadership role due to poor play. Hopefully that changes (leadership thing and performance thing).

Posted by: _jordan | November 2, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

At least the "bring back Olie" thoughts help bookend the equally nonsensical "should have overpaid for Huet" thoughts seen last night.

Posted by: Section117 | November 2, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

wendle. Do not car about NHL only care about we dig

Posted by: _828 | November 2, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

this iPhone sux. South east div

Posted by: _828 | November 2, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

how about play good hockey no matter who is n net?

Posted by: _828 | November 2, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say bring him back, I just said that I will be curious to see how it plays out. Sure, right now I'd rather see him in net since he is playing better, but that does not mean that he will be the better keeper two months from now. I keep hoping Jose will get his groove back (from a long time ago), but I am starting to wonder ... all I can say is that Johnny's future may be in his own hands at this point! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | November 2, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

FYI the Bears are getting stomped again 3-0 to Philidelphia. No disipline, No defense and a lack of a good coach.

Posted by: cocorules | November 2, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

oops, sorry about the caps-----no pun intended

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Down 5-0 and no one starts a fight? Does Bradley have to do it every time. Brash better start hitting someone with his fist. First shot first goal should equal an opponent getting manhandled. It is turning into a country club.

As for the locker room leadership, and fire, Olie's fire may have motivated but it didn't translate to squat for the last 8 years. Let him sweat down south.

Clark missed a lot of games. It always takes a returning player time to get up to speed again. We all know what Clark can bring. He just needs to find it; and he will, when his body catches up. But I want more than a point producing Clark.

I like Clark a lot, and he's a leader. But when I think of captain, I think of Hunter and Langway, you know? The biggest one on the ice. I think Stevens in NJ, Messier everywhere. Andreychuk in Tampa, Mario in Pitt, Modano, Tkachuck, Doan, Yzerman forever, Iginla putting up 50 and still fighting, Bobby Clarke scoring and beating the living daylights out of someone.

This team needs that identity. Ovechkin should be captain. I know they won't change it now. But they should have. He's here for 12 more years and he;s the best in the world.
But if Clark is going to stay captain he needs to forget those 30 goals and start knocking people senseless. Or these marshmallows are gonna get roasted.

Posted by: oo7 | November 2, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

oops, sorry about the caps-----no pun intended

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

at jordan

I guess you never forgot to turn off your caps. Too many people on this blog are too quick to find fault. stick to the subject---Caps & forget the incidentals like caps.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

at jordan

I said to send a message, not to replace an existing member of the team----a temp---not permanent.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

at jordan

as far as Sami goes, he is very inconsistent. Go to a few Hershey games & then give your opinion.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

at 007

"Bobby Clarke beating the daylights out of someone" Yea, hiding behind Dave Schultz.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

sidehillman- whether you liked him or not, he was still captain material, larger than life and in your face; he was a complete jerk. But Hunter smashed people into the ends of the bench, beat their heads into the ice while play went up ice, and layed hit after goals. THere are always pluses and minuses. Do you have a thought on the comment, or just Bobby Clarke?

Too many people on this blog are too quick to find fault.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 6:33 PM

Posted by: oo7 | November 2, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Glad coach put the team through their paces today. They needed it. I expect they will come out firing in Ottawa. However, the real test will be whether they can keep it going. I want to see intensity come Thursday and Saturday too. Please, let's see intensity against the Canes and Rangers!

Posted by: Kim-3 | November 2, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Bears update still losing 3-1 and now are 0 for 29 on the power play since Wednesday. However in those 4 games the power play has givin up 2 shorties.

Posted by: cocorules | November 2, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

3-2 now the big "O" Oscar Osala with 2 goals on the night.

Posted by: cocorules | November 2, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse


Word. With everyone thrown under the bus so far, let's not forget that the team's captain has a whopping one assist so far, and is barely averaging a shot a game, and now Boudreau's quote seems to indicate he's not speaking up in the locker room either. Hopefully the quote and the off-day practice are wake up calls.

Posted by: Section117 | November 2, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Bears lose to Philly 4-3 in a shootout. Were losing 3-0 but tied it up late in the game on two by Osala and one from Perrault. Only had 13 shots on goal in the first two periods but woke up in the third and put 21 shots on net.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 2, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

this team is too talented to be playing the way they are playing... remember, GOOD IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Posted by: rachel216 | November 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The Bears lost in a shootout, of course they were playing a team with J S Aubin who may actually be a better goalie than either of ours. For the record I was not all that fond of the soft goals in the last 4 or 5 games JT. JT needs to step up or step out!

Posted by: majiksea | November 2, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi, I'm logic. Have we met?

Posted by: Section117 | November 2, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with your overall comment. Bobby Clarke was a "hit & runner". Dale Hunter would hit & stay to fight. There is a difference in personnel comments & giving an opinion on a player.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

comment directed to ----007

Posted by: sidehillman | November 2, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

sidehillman- no worries. I miss Dale Hunter. I really do.

Posted by: oo7 | November 2, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity among everyone here, does that trade for Hunter still get made, considering we know now what Quebec got in return?

Posted by: Section117 | November 2, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, as much as I love Hunter, that trade would not have been made if it were a man-for-man deal. Sakic has more than 600 goals.

But there is no possible way of knowing a) whether the Caps would have used that pick to take Sakic or b) whether he would have developed into the player he is with the Caps' organization.


Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 2, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Right, the Caps would have likely chosen someone else, rather than Sakic. And given the way that the Caps of the 90's went, Sakic would have been dealt, like Arnott, Brunette and anyone else.

For those who want a little brush up on Hunter:

I remember him sitting on top of Yzerman after crushing him with a hit, looking up and watching everyone go up ice, and then pounding Yzerman's head into the ice-bang bang bang- before skating away. He was mean, nasty, and wildly talented. I mean, 300 goals and 1000 pts aint too shabby.

Posted by: oo7 | November 2, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little bothered by Theodore's play quite honestly. He doesn't look comfortable at all. He's not a big guy like Kolzig was and he seems to be out of position. He's just shakey all around. If the Caps wanted to let Kolzig go, they should've waited until a decent goaltender was available. Bad move there. Goaltending will haunt the Caps' karma this year, trust me.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | November 2, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

The lines need to be as follows


d can figure itself out...

Posted by: vik191 | November 2, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

'This Isn't a Country Club'
I said before the season, BB's challenge will be coaching a team that is well paid, looks like he's in for a lesson.

Defense sucks, Jozy is proving me RIGHT and Clark, well they should have traded prior to the start of the season.

Front office continues to ruin the team.
Look at Dallas last year and make the move.

Posted by: Cheef | November 2, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I have said this for the past 5 or 6 years now GMGM has no clue about what a good D man is. Look what we have out there no. We are not going to win a cup with the defense he brings in and then signs for 2 year extensions.

Posted by: CalleJo | November 3, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Now GMGM can trade Erskine with a meager two years on his contract to another team, rather than lose an asset outright. Its still a business.

Posted by: oo7 | November 3, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem with this team is the "d"...and they did nothing to improve it in the off season. Bringing up Lep or Alzer isn't going to solve...Good "D" takes experience. That being said, the Cap players, many of them, took shifts off where they didn't want to skate against Buffalo. That's ashame. You want the Cup, you can't do that. I, for one was quite upset by their play because I've seen them play so much better. They need work hard each and every shift if they want a chance of the cup. Please wake up Caps and come out and play from here on out.

Posted by: marklee15 | November 3, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

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