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Bruce Boudreau Doesn't Like Morning Skates

The Caps may not have practiced, but it was still a busy media day for D.C.'s current most quotable sports figure. Of course, if Jim Zorn was going on various sports radio programs, I would faithfully transcribe his every word, showing off the transcription skills that I learned during four years of reading depressing Russian novels. So might as well do it for Boudreau, I guess. Highlights from his appearances on DC101's Elliot in the Morning and XM NHL Home Ice's In the Slot, starting with his aversion to the morning skate.

This all started when the XM discussion turned to the frequency of games at this time of year, and Boudreau was asked what his practices are like.

"There are none," he said. "We didn't practice again today. We'll practice Friday for the first time this week....Sometimes people think, 'Oh, you've got to practice, you've got to practice.' Rest, at this time of year, is better than practice, I think."

Next up: morning skates.

"Some coach got it in his head, 'Oh, we should practice in the morning,' but I don't know what the heck it does for you," Boudreau said.

"I've been against this from when it first started," Phil Esposito agreed.

"I understand [why] it started, to get you out of bed and awake," Boudreau said. "But then it got taken steps further about practicing, and then some coaches took it steps further and you're practicing hard. I've been on teams where I say, 'Are you kidding? It's the fifth time in three days that we're going to be on the ice, and it's too much.'

"We really think rest is more important, especially when you've got a guy like Ovechkin that plays 23 minutes every game and he's hitting or being hit every shift. It's a lot of wear on the body....If we'd have gone on today it would have been totally up to whoever. Like, for us to have Sergei Fedorov on the ice every day at 39 years old and skating is ridiculous. He's got to save his strength for the games, and that's where it's the most important. We try to walk that fine line, and hopefully it works."

(Which, I should note, prompted Esposito to say this after the segment: "I would have loved playing for Bruce Boudreau. In a heartbeat."

More cuts.

On the past week, on DC101: "We've proved we can play with the big boys, and that's really important to our guys."

On the VC, on DC101: "It is SO loud. It is as good as any arena in hockey, bar none, and I'm including Montreal, Toronto and those places. The people are into it, the players love playing in front of them. I think there's a real love affair going there."

On Mike Green, on XM: "The one thing I told Mike is, 'Offensively, you do whatever you want. I'm not gonna hold you back. I just want to make sure that your defense isn't hurting because of your offense.' He had no barriers, he would take the puck and he would go. He can make moves at full speed that other guys have to really slow down to think. He just goes. I'd love to see him in the fastest skater competition in the NHL, because I don't think anyone realizes how fast he is....Now, like any young player, I have to come in here and go, 'Mike, I don't want you leading every rush, you've got to be the fourth guy a lot of times.' And then he pulls it back."

On Semin, on XM: "He's got as much skill as anybody in the National Hockey League. He put a pass on Mike Green's stick for a goal last night that was 20 feet in the air and it landed right where it's supposed to be, flat....One day--and I don't know how soon it's gonna be, whether it's this year, next year or the year after--he's gonna be a 100-point producer. He's that good when he wants to go. He makes our team so much better."

On having sit-downs with Semin, on DC101: I've had a couple. We get the interpreter in there and we're ok. We understand each other, I think. Viktor [Kozlov's] the best interpreter going. We have good conversations. I'm not going to go over quite frankly what we talk about, but he understands. He's getting better at a lot of the situations that we talk about. It's just a maturation. Like I said, he's a lot better at stuff this year than he was last year, and he'll be a lot better next year than he is this year."

On being patient with Theodore, on DC101: "We're humans. And human beings are not patient. I mean, an example: last night, New Jersey's won eight in a row, and they got booed after the first period. I mean, people are not patient. They want everything now. In today's world, it seems like everybody wants everything now, and that's what makes GMs' jobs so tough. If you're ever looking for a trade, you want it now, and it doesn't happen in the salary cap world. It's tough being patient, I guess, is the bottom line."

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 4, 2009; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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DC is blessed to have coaches like Boudreau and Zorn who seem like decent people along with being professionals. I can't say that I am a hockey fan, yet, but I became a Caps fan about five years ago and find this to be a great team to watch. Easy to support not because they are winning, which is nice, but because they are the total package with adult leadership.

Posted by: skipper7 | February 4, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Didn't even recognize him! Wow! :) I love Bruce! <---best coach ever.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 4, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Dave Steckel: "Dad?"

Posted by: No_Quarter | February 5, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

So will we be seeing a similar picture of a young Dan Steinberg at some point?

Posted by: jhorstma | February 5, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

So are the Russians on the Caps kind of like the Others in the TV Show Lost?

Posted by: WheresRickySanders | February 5, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't personally have a problem with the Devils fans booing.

They were not happy with the 20 minute effort...It's no different then the coach going into the dressing room and saying.."Thats not good enough to win tonight."

Players and teams shouldnt take that stuff personally...We are all there to support and have fun...geer's will happen as well.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

So are the Russians on the Caps kind of like the Others in the TV Show Lost?

Posted by: WheresRickySanders | February 5, 2009 8:28 AM


No, just Semin, and his English is both better than he lets on, and better than he realizes. He's not very confident about the language. Kozlov is fluent, Fedorov is very fluent (he's lived in the US since 1990, I believe),a nd Ovechkin is nearly-fluent, although when he gets excited he starts butchering (understandable).

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 5, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I thought Dan Steinberg WAS still young ;<).

Posted by: pcalver1 | February 5, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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