Bruce Boudreau on Sharks, former roommate Todd McLellan
Sharks Coach Todd McLellan and Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau were minor league roommates back in the late 1980s, when McLellan was a rookie. Fast forward and they're friends who are both head coaches in the NHL of teams that have been viewed as regular-season overachievers recently.
While the Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy in a record-breaking 2009-10 season and failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs, they faced criticism very familiar to San Jose. The Sharks have won three consecutive division titles, were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference each of the past two years and earned at least 107 points in each of the past four, but never made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
"I got a call from Bruce over the summer saying he knows how I feel," McLellan told the San Jose Mercury News.
Said Boudreau: "Todd's such a classy guy. He's one of those guys that you meet, you just instantly want to be a friend of. I hope he loses, though, tonight."
The parallels didn't end with previous seasons, though. Both the Capitals and Sharks have gone through ups and downs in the 2010-11 campaign, but both are hoping they've hit their stride at the most important time of the year.
The Sharks head into tonight's contest at Verizon Center 7-0-1 in their last eight, but they lost six straight prior to that stretch. Over the past eight games, one of San Jose's particular strong attributes has been its power play, which is 9 for 28 (32.1 percent).
"They've gone through some rough stretches," Boudreau said. "They're usually so far up in the standings that they never have to worry about the playoffs. This might be like what people are saying about us, a good thing that they've had to go through a struggle and maybe change a little bit of what they're doing and come on strong now."
| February 8, 2011; 1:22 PM ET
Categories: Bruce Boudreau, San Jose Sharks
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