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Bruce Boudreau's rooting against Pittsburgh


(Photo by Cheryl Nichols - Nats News Network)


I'm a 100 percent objective sportswriter, but my primary rooting interest in these Stanley Cup playoffs is against Pittsburgh. Don't ask me why. It's sort of instinctual.

Happily, Bruce Boudreau shares my rooting interest. He's not from D.C., and the Penguins didn't knock his guys out this year, but he's sure internalized the correct feelings. The Caps' coach was at the Nats game Thursday night, where he shouted out "play ball" from atop the home dugout, and he was interviewed by CSN's Kelli Johnson. He told her that "it's still hard to watch hockey right now," but when she asked him for his Stanley Cup pick, he didn't hesitate.

"Well, I don't want it to be Pittsburgh, that's one," he said, before the Canadiens tied the series with the Penguins at two games apiece. "You know what, Montreal's giving Pittsburgh fits. If their power play wasn't doing the goal scoring, Pittsburgh would be down 3-0, I believe."

In fact, Boudreau has said the same thing a few other times in recent days. He was on The Bill Watters Show on Toronto's AM 640 earlier in the week, and that series came up.

The Penguins "will probably win the series, they should, they're the better hockey club," Boudreau said. "But Montreal did the rope-a-dope thing again [in game 2], and they came away victorious, so don't count them out."

And he also touched on the series during an interview on Toronto's The Fan 590 on Monday.

"[Game 2] was the first time I sort of forced myself to watch a game," he said. "And I sort of got frustrated all over again watching Montreal and Pittsburgh. They're doing it again."

And again during an interview with 590 on Wednesday.

"We just couldn't beat [Halak]," he said. "And I look at the series against Pittsburgh, and it could very easily be 3-0 for Montreal, except for Pittsburgh's power play has done a lot better than ours."

Well, back to Thursday night. Johnson asked Boudreau about the head coach shouldering the blame in such situations.

"It's not a question of shouldering the blame," he said. "I think we just lost. We faced a really good goaltender, and sports is about upsets. I don't think any of us anticipated us, and I don't want it to detract from the season that the players had."


By Dan Steinberg  |  May 7, 2010; 9:44 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats  
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Comments

Cup envy!

Posted by: jvdc | May 7, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Just a little sick and tired of playing the same game every year.

"Now that the Caps have choked, who do you NOT want to win the Stanley Cup?"

Who cares? At this point, if the Caps aren't gonna show up in the playoffs -- Sidney Crosby might as well win the next 10.

Appreciate Boudreau's sentiment. But, he lost his vote when his team got eliminated.

You dont' want a specific team to win the Cup?

Well the best way to ensure that is to have DC win it.

Posted by: CF11555 | May 7, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Jealous little baby.

Posted by: LonnieBeale1 | May 7, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Have to say while I respect Gabby, I'm disappointed that he did not take personal responsibility for the loss whether he deserved it or not.

One great thing about Joe Gibbs (among many) is that he ALWAYS shouldered the blame for losses and deflected credit for wins. Great coaches know how to take the pressure off their players and Gabby failed to do so.

Posted by: playahatah | May 7, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau's a moron, I wish he would just shut up. Can he sound any more of a beyaatch? uh duhh it could be 3-0 if not for the PP. Really genius? Thanks for the insight. Hey maybe the Caps would still be playing if your PP didn't suck. Or if the goaltending for Montreal wasn't that great. Or if the Caps actually gave a 60 min effort in games 1 thru 5. How bout that, why aren't you flapping your gums about that?

of course he's rooting for the Habs. It will justify in his mind that he didn't do a bad job, it was just that the Habs were an unbeatable team. If the Habs get blown out in 5, then Bruce looks like a bigger dumba__

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

No sour grapes there Bruce...classless fool.
I'm a Pen's fan but thought this was the Caps' year to win it. It happened to the Pens in '93 against the Islanders...sometimes the better team doesn't win and its usually because they were out-coached(Bruce?).
This is a great rivalry(Pens vs Caps)so I'm not sure he can be objective. Maybe he should ask himself why Bylsma and his staff figured out the power play issues but he and his staff didn't?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 7, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It's disconcerting that the Coach is blaming the teams failures on "just running into a hot goalie." Very disconcerting.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 7, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

That's some sound logic Fat-Baby was displaying right there with the whole "if it wasn't for the powerplay" comments.

Hey, if the Habs didn't score more goals last night, the Pens would've won!

Posted by: RoachVA141 | May 7, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

BigDaddy651

figure out the powerplay...kunitz is slipping and slidding and the puck hits the back of his foot and then his front foot and goes in. hockey is about bounces and luck and talent in the playoffs. i don't think we had one lucky bounce in that series.

Posted by: samb99 | May 7, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

BB- "I dont want it (1st round loss to 8th seed Montreal)to detract from the season that the players had."
??????????????????????????????????????
Hello? Isnt the Cup, or at least going into Cup finals, supposed to be more important than won/less record during regular season?
As well as personal records? Not only is he yapping again about the hot goalie, he will no doubt do the usual "explosion" when being asked the familiar question about why Green in playoffs again cant defend, cant skate, cant shoot, cant score.....I KNEW we shouldnt have traded Pothier.

Posted by: peabody2 | May 7, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

playahatah,

I see what you are saying, but Gibbs took the blame so often that it became meaningless. He got to the point where he would say it and you would just roll your eyes. It is easy to take the blame when you are in the hall of fame, kinda retired, coaching is your second priority to your race team, and just collecting a giant paycheck.

Posted by: makplan20002 | May 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

playahatah,

I see what you are saying, but Gibbs took the blame so often that it became meaningless. He got to the point where he would say it and you would just roll your eyes. It is easy to take the blame when you are in the hall of fame, kinda retired, coaching is your second priority to your race team, and just collecting a giant paycheck.

I'll give him credit for not saying "We lost because those dbags Green, Semin, and Fleischmann didnt show up"

Posted by: makplan20002 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

please. boudreau is a cry-baby -- if the penguins didn't have a power play, they would be down 3-0. well, if the craps had a power play, they would be in the second round. what a joke and an excuse maker.

craps fans, you cannot blame this one on the penguins. look in the mirror coach cry-baby. and, you know what, i'll take sidney crosby any day versus one-dimensional elimin-8-ed.

Posted by: dgaudy | May 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually, BB does have a tendency to call out players publicly, which Gibbs would NEVER do. BB also has a tendency to avoid responsibility for losses. But he's right about P i s s burgh.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 7, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

So, the Pens fans are all up in arms because the coach of one of their main rivals says he isn’t rooting for them. Man, talk about thin-skinned. They resort to calling him names, etc. Real mature. I’ve always been amazed at the inferiority complex Pens fan to the Caps – which is strange especially since they are the defending Champs.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | May 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"It's disconcerting that the Coach is blaming the teams failures on 'just running into a hot goalie.' Very disconcerting."

Completely agree. The only hope we have is that this is just their public facade and that some serious soul-searching and planning has been going down inside the locker room and the front office.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | May 7, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"i'll take sidney crosby any day versus one-dimensional elimin-8-ed."

This is the talking point of virtually every Penguins' fan with access to a desktop. Tell me, how many dimensions has Crosby shown in the Montreal series? I'll wait....

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | May 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

welcome to the club, BB. It's called the "Pennsylavania Rule".

Posted by: Hattrik | May 7, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

samb99,
They went 4 for 4 on the power play in Game 1...apparently the Pens figured something out the Caps' braintrust missed.
I agree though that Kunitz's goal was lucky last night. But then again so was the Habs' first goal(Laperrier I think).
Halak was really good after the 1st period...he got peppered in the first 2 periods.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 7, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Typical Pens fans running their loud mouths.. Lemme just start by saying, your Sh**sburgh economy is terrible and your invasion of my city has brought down the ratio of good looking people, DRAMATICALLY.

Anyhow, hockey is a great sport - and just like a good pitching staff can win a series, so can a good goal tender. AND not just good, but GREAT. Halak was a beast. . . .And all you winey Caps fans need to lay off of BB, don't forget where we came from.

And then we have the Crosby lovers who want to compare a pansy centermen, to a bone crushing winger... Don't try it - Ovie don't play, I heard he quit school cuz they had recess.

Posted by: brandontedder1 | May 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I just got upset after re-reading some of the posts from Pens fans so I had to add one more comment : You should really be sticking to the Pensblog where you sprinkle magic fair dust on your players when they aren't doing so hot... I believe you called it "juju"???? Homo says what?

Posted by: brandontedder1 | May 7, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

brandontedder1,
It's "whine" not "wine" and Pittsburgh was just named most liveable city by Fortune magazine for the second consecutive year.
That being said, I agree the Caps have come a long way. However, it looks entirely possible the Pens may be making a 3rd consecutive trip to the Cup finals.
I'll take that over scoring titles and premature playoff exits anytime.
Crosby, 2 and possibly 3 Cup finals appearances, 1 and possibly more Stanley Cup titles, Olympic Gold clinching goal, Richard Trophy this year, scoring title.
Ovechkin has yet to make it to even a conference final, underachieved in the Olympics...not much to compare.
Ovechkin is a great scorer. But he essentially shoots the puck nearly every time it touches his stick. He doesn't make players around him better. Until he does that, he likely won't win a title.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 7, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Completely agree. The only hope we have is that this is just their public facade and that some serious soul-searching and planning has been going down inside the locker room and the front office."

---

The only person who I feel is being real about the situation is Ted. GMGM and BB are both playing the "just unlucky" card.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 7, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

BigDaddy65
Sorry for my misspelling. So if Pittsburgh was just named the most livable (not spelled liveable) city by Fortune, then why does everyone move here, from there? Anyhow, you compare personal achievements for yourself and let me know?

Ovie
NHL

* NHL All-Rookie Team: 2006
* NHL First All-Star Team: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
* NHL Number 1 Star of the Month: January 2006, January 2008, March 2008, November 2008, January 2010
* NHL Offensive Player of the Month: January 2006
* NHL Rookie of the Month: December 2005 and January 2006
* NHL Number 1 Star of the Week: Week Ending – December 30, 2007; March 9, 2008; March 23, 2008; December 28, 2008; October 5, 2009; January 18, 2010.
* NHL Offensive Player of the Week: Week Ending – December 31, 2005; January 23, 2006
* NHL Player of the Year – Sporting News: 2008, 2009
* NHL All-Star Game selections: 2007, 2008, 2009
* Calder Memorial Trophy – NHL Rookie of the Year: 2006
* Kharlamov Trophy – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
* Lester B. Pearson Award (Most Outstanding Player): 2008, 2009
* Hart Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player): 2008, 2009
* Art Ross Trophy: 2008 (112 points)
* Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy: 2008 (65 goals), 2009 (56 goals)

Sidney
Award Year(s)
Rocket Richard Trophy (Most goals in the regular season) 2010
Art Ross Trophy (Most points in the regular season) 2007
Lester B. Pearson Award (Best player as voted by his peers) 2007
Hart Memorial Trophy (Most valuable player in the NHL) 2007
NHL First All-Star Team 2007
NHL All-Rookie Team 2006
Rookie of the Month October 2005
Mark Messier Leadership Award Jan. 2007

This is the only accurate way to judge who is better, since hockey is a team sport. Those accolades Crosby has won, is a direct result of a TEAM effort. In fact for most of the Olympics he was non-existent for his gold medal. Luckily they defeated the U.S. because he was doing what he does best, cherry picking in front of the net.

And if there is anyone that is on the fence, the tie breaker goes to Ovie because he doesn't live in Mario Lemiuexs basement.

Posted by: brandontedder1 | May 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Don't try it - Ovie don't play, I heard he quit school cuz they had recess."

Huh, that's funny...I hear he plays a lot of golf in the months of May and June...

Posted by: RoachVA141 | May 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"and, you know what, i'll take sidney crosby any day versus one-dimensional elimin-8-ed."

Tell me, how is Sid doing against the Habs?

At least Alex scored a couple goals.

All I have seen Crosby do is break his stick in frustration.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 7, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

TheOtherGuyInSection117- Sorry jack ass, but Pens fans in no way have an inferiority complex to the Craps. Why would we? Our team is better in every way. Your team is a "never-was" choking group of indidivual players.

Posted by: wburn42167 | May 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I seriously wonder whether the team has plateaued under BB and will need a veteran coach with a different system to go further in the playoffs. Three years in a row that I've felt the Caps were outcoached although Pittsburgh was the better team last year. This year BB and his staff never seemed to adjust to what Montreal was doing and lost because of it. I don't buy "they had the hot goalie" as the only reason we lost to Montoeal

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Uh, then why is he among the league leaders in assists this year, ahead of Skid?


"Ovechkin is a great scorer. But he essentially shoots the puck nearly every time it touches his stick. He doesn't make players around him better. Until he does that, he likely won't win a title."

Posted by: wifflebomb | May 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Pens fans go away. The reason why Pittsburgh was voted the most livable city is because everyone there has lots of time on their hands because they are all unemployed.

Caps fans, lay off BB. We wouldn't even be title contenders without him, so get over your heartbreak and remember what it was like with Hanlon, if you were even a fan a few years ago... True fans stick with their team through the good and the bad.

Posted by: rademaar | May 7, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

i agree im rooting for the canadiens if they win it kindoff lift somestuff of caps shoulders knowing they beat the pens as well. Ovie had done alot more in there series then crosby is doing know

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 7, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

brandontedder1,
"NHL Number 1 Star of the Week: Week Ending – December 30, 2007; March 9, 2008; March 23, 2008; December 28, 2008; October 5, 2009; January 18, 2010.
* NHL Offensive Player of the Week: Week Ending – December 31, 2005; January 23, 2006"
That is hilarious...given the amount of effort you put into NHL Star of the Week stats, to me, THOSE are the clincher.
Stanley Cup Finals appearances, playoff series wins, etc. just can't compare to the "NHL Offensive Player of the Week"! Too funny!!!
Although I honestly do think the whole Sid living in Mario's basement thing is funny. Malkin was living with Gonchar and his family too but I'm not sure if that is still the case.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

wifflebomb,
He(Ovechkin) gets a primary assist for goals scored off rebounds from his shots...that is how he gets his assists.
Just ask Knuble.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

He wants validation. That's all. We all sort of do.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 7, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@BigDaddy, if you think Ovi's assists are off of rebounds, you're once again another Pens fan who only watched a few Caps games a year, just like your homer announcers. Once you made that statement, I realized anything else is just towing the party (Stegy and Errey) line.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 8, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

dfe1,
I understand you're a Caps' fan and think Ovechkin is the greatest player to ever skate on ice.
My point is that, while a great scorer, he's not a great player until he makes those playing around him better.
If he was able to raise the level of players around him the Caps would have advanced deeper in the playoffs than they have the last 2 years.
His over the top scoring celebrations, needless border line cheap shots(Gonchar in last year's playoffs and this year's suspension during the regular season) and inability to get his team farther really detract from his accomplishments.
Every team's announcers are homers. I watch the Caps whenever the Pens aren't available in addition to attending several Hershey games every year.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 9, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

dfe1,
I understand you're a Caps' fan and think Ovechkin is the greatest player to ever skate on ice.
My point is that, while a great scorer, he's not a great player until he makes those playing around him better.
If he was able to raise the level of players around him the Caps would have advanced deeper in the playoffs than they have the last 2 years.
His over the top scoring celebrations, needless border line cheap shots(Gonchar in last year's playoffs and this year's suspension during the regular season) and inability to get his team farther really detract from his accomplishments.
Every team's announcers are homers. I watch the Caps whenever the Pens aren't available in addition to attending several Hershey games every year.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 9, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Great, BB has more time to make cheesy commercials.

Posted by: BBisFat | May 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

At least Pittsburgh figured out how to score against Montreal on the Power Play.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah6 | May 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

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