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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Bruce Boudreau on Sharks, former roommate Todd McLellan

By Katie Carrera

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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."

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, San Jose Sharks  
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Anyone else see it going down like this tonight?

Bruce: Thornton! Get over here.
Thornton: What do you want? Bruce:Before we do battle, I think there is something you should know.
Thornton:And what would that be.
Bruce:I am your coach's minor league team's rookie season's road trip's, former roommate.
Thornton:What's that make us?
Bruce:ABSOLUTELY NOTHING...which is what you are about to become. Prepare to die. (uses the schwartz)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 8, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Nice try...

I remember the 2 games vs SJ last year. They were entirely flat when they came to D.C. and we got an easy win.

When we went to SJ, it was a very different story. They completely dominated us. It was among our worst defeats of the season, even beyond the score. I didn't think we were as flat as SJ was when they came to our barn. They just took it to us big time. Maybe we didn't give them enough respect after the first meeting.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 8, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I remember the last 2 games in SJ we were terrible...but we didnt play PK like we do now...and the Sharks are dangerous on PK

The Caps take way fewer penalties now.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 8, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Calgary is hurting this year and may not make the playoffs. Anybody else think their #13 could fill our needs at 2C? not sure who I'd give up to get him, but he has a little over a year left on his current contract at $3M-and-change.

And no, I'm not Jokin(en).

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 8, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I am really looking forward to seeing this game from San Jose. Both clubs are well coached and playing better as of late. SJ will not take Washington lightly... Alexander Ovechkin is one of the most exciting forwards in the world. He is scary good.

Additionally, the Caps have many weapons in Backstrom and Semin is back tonight. And that Brooks Laich... you gotta love how he plays. The D is better too this year. But too bad about Green; hope he is concussion free after that nasty shot to his head.

I like our chances better with Douglas Murray matching up with Ovie than without him during the last visit to Washington. But no doubt, it's going to be a tough game. Go Sharks.

- Tooth, out

Posted by: Shrk2th | February 8, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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