Boudreau backs his defense
"It's amazing to me how many detractors we have, people who think we're not good enough in goal, we're not good enough defensively, can our style of play win the game," Bruce Boudreau said last week. "And yet we lost 15 games in regulation this year. So I mean, our goal is to prove everybody wrong, to prove that what we do and the character we have and the way we play is the best way, and by far the most entertaining way."
Well, if he thought he had doubters last week, just wait until his team yields eight goals in two overtime games against Montreal. Now the questions about his defense are . Here was one in the first minute of his Monday morning press gathering.
"You said after Game 2 that you had to go all offense when it was 4-1," the reporter said. "Do you guard or say anything about maybe being a little bit more solid defensively?"
"You know, we answer this question every day," Boudreau said, world-weariness coating his every word. "I mean, we allowed five goals. But defensively, we allowed 24 shots, and we allowed eight scoring chances in the entire game. That's not bad defensively. It was we made a mistake, and every mistake we made, they put it in the net. We will guard about hopefully not making those mistakes, and if we get the saves, we get the saves."
Later came a question about whether goalies in Boudreau's "run and gun" system have to be particularly ready to face odd-man rushes.
"I don't know, because I'm not a goalie," the coach said. "But I would expect that he might think he has to stop a 2-on-1 every now and again. But even the odd-man rushes, they had one odd-man rush last game against us."
"Generally speaking," the reporter clarified.
"I know, and generally speaking, we don't think all offense," Boudreau said. "Everybody thinks, they want to make this team into a....We've got a lot of good offensive players and we score a lot of goals, because our Players. Are skilled," he said. "That's. The Deal. I mean, it's not like Hey, let's go four men up and let's play with one defenseman! When we get behind, if you want to stay and play a trap, you're never gonna catch up.
"Is it a disservice to your team that people just see you as a..." someone attempted to ask.
"Absolutely," Boudreau said. "Because if a lot of these guys played on different teams, they'd be known as great defensive players."
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