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Posted at 4:43 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Brooks Laich calls Bruce Boudreau "a genius"

By Dan Steinberg

(By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


When I was visiting Western New York last month, my dad was complaining about the tendency to label NFL coaches "geniuses" after just one or two successful seasons. Which made me think, does anyone actually label coaches "geniuses," or is it just that snarky media members later like to make fun of "so-called geniuses" after things begin to fail. I mean, when was the last time you actually heard someone describe a coach as a "genius" without any irony or sarcasm?

Well, for me, the last time was about two minutes ago, when I listened to Brooks Laich's appearance with the Junkies.

"You know what, I call him a genius," Laich said of Bruce Boudreau. "He's so smart. His hands are all over the game of hockey, and whether he likes it or not, he can't turn it off. He just lives hockey. And he comes in every morning and he says 'Did you see this play in this game, and this game, and this game last night?' And I'm like what are you doing watching all these hockey games, you've got a family, a wife and kids? He goes 'I just love it.'

"And I'm sitting at home watching these hockey games because I've got nothing to do at home. But he can't turn it off. He's just a fan of hockey, and his passion is so great for hockey, he's all over it. And I've always said about him, he can take chicken [stuff] and turn it into chicken soup."

One more word about Laich, if you don't mind. After HBO's 24/7 wrapped up last night, two Caps players almost immediately chimed in on Twitter.

"What an unbelievable show!" John Carlson wrote.

"Great job by HBO," John Erskine agreed.

Laich wouldn't necessarily agree, because he's still insisting he hasn't seen one minute of the show. This is what he told reporters last weekend in Pittsburgh.

"I'm a hockey player," he said. "I'm not an actor. I'm not getting paid by HBO to give them a bunch of lines and do a bunch of scenes and this and that. The most important thing here isn't the spectacle; it's that we win this hockey game. You know? What's gonna be any fun if we have a great big show [and lose]? It's like losing in the Super Bowl. Do you think that's any fun for the losing team?"

I mean, that's the right thing to say the morning of the game, but now, five days later, with the Caps having dramatically triumphed, he could at least sit back and watch a few minutes of HBO, right?

"You know what, I haven't seen two minutes of that show," Laich said on Thursday. "I haven't seen one episode of that show. I haven't seen any of it. I have no interest in what goes on in Pittsburgh's locker room or what those guys with their houses or their coach, no interest whatsoever in any of them. And I see what happens at the rink every day and I live it. So I don't really have a whole lot of reason to watch it."

By Dan Steinberg  | January 6, 2011; 4:43 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

I guess if he had seen the show, he would have known to call the coach "a (bleeping) genius."

Posted by: Cosmo06 | January 6, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I loved the bleeping thing. Hope they have plenty o' bleeping xtras on the DVD.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 6, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Throughout human history there have been only 2 true geniuses: Leonardo Da Vinci and Bruce Boudreau.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 6, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau might be able to turn chicken (bleep) into chicken soup, but the bigger question is if he can turn (bleep)bums into (bleeping) Stanley Cup champions.

Posted by: justemmaroo | January 7, 2011 7:31 AM | Report abuse

"24/7 Caps-Penguins" was one of the best sports "reality documentaries" I've ever seen. It completely, utterly, thoroughly blows away "Hard Knocks." The NFL sanitizes "Hard Knocks" and makes sure that next-to-no strategy is discussed. That show spends way too much on "human interest" content and solo interviews - it's a big PR vehicle totally managed by the NFL. "24/7" was focused on the game, and the players as players. I don't recall a single interview.

GREAT job, HBO and the NHL!

Posted by: kemp13 | January 7, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"24/7 Caps-Penguins" was one of the best sports "reality documentaries" I've ever seen. It completely, utterly, thoroughly blows away "Hard Knocks." The NFL sanitizes "Hard Knocks" and makes sure that next-to-no strategy is discussed. That show spends way too much on "human interest" content and solo interviews - it's a big PR vehicle totally managed by the NFL. "24/7" was focused on the game, and the players as players. I don't recall a single interview.

Part of the problem with "Hard Knocks" is that it happens during pre-season when winning and losing really doesn't matter to anybody involved, least of all the so-called star players. You don't get to see them truly joyful from winning or steaming after a loss. The look on Crosby's face in the locker room after losing the Winter Classic, and the sheer depression in their coach, made the whole show worthwhile. You'll never - NEVER - see that on "Hard Knocks."

GREAT job, HBO and the NHL!

Posted by: kemp13 | January 7, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Obviously it's a reality show, so HBO focuses on what story they want to tell. That being said, unfortunately, I have to say BB came off looking like anything BUT a genius on the show. The Pittsburgh coach, Byslma, came off patient, analytical, and quietly driven. BB reminded me of my high school coach... buffoonish, fat, blustering, with no real tactical sense other than to try to instigate Malkin for instance. Made me worry for the Caps actually...

Posted by: harryfuchs | January 7, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Harryfuchs, you also didn't see Byslma in the middle of the worst losing streak of his career, where his job could have been on the line. I read that Byslma was tempering himself so that if his son ever watched, he wouldn't hear the foul language...although that went out the window once the Caps handed Pitt their ass on a plate at the Classic. I imagine if the show had gone on and they started losing consistently you would have seen a tirade from him as well.

Like Bruce mentioned in this last episode, if the players don't do what he asks them to do (play as a unit) everyone looks like crap. That's why he gets upset. He's like their father and they're disappointing him by their inadequate play. That's what my dad did whenever I messed up in life.

Posted by: sordidvox | January 7, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Brooks Laich confirms he is the man with his comments about HBO and S**tsburgh - (the jury is out on his assessment of BB). Brooks would be captain on any other team, and should wear the C on the Caps. At least he shows real leadership by going to "optional" practices before a game 7.

Posted by: B-LeaguerD | January 7, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Coach needs to work on getting a better power play plan. First of all the Captials are not setting up the point. They just dump and chase. They need to get back to those good ole days when they shoot from the point. If you people remember those good ole caps teams in the 80s were always 2-5, 1-4, 3-7 in power plays. This coach is messing up this team by not letting these guys play. IMO the system sucks!

Posted by: psardis | January 7, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

B-Leauger, Laich is a fine player on this team, but I wouldn't go as far as saying he would be captain elsewhere. Maybe in Minnesota. I have some "sources" inside the Caps that have told me Laich is the opposite of a captain figure. He is a great role player on this team and most of the time I'm happy to have him. However, let's not put him on a tower just yet, just like we're not calling BB a "genius" at this point. (One thing I heard is that when he pulled over to help that motorist after the playoff loss last season, he called a reporter to let them know what he was doing so it would make the papers, this happened prior to his assistance. Still a good deed, but a good deed with a motive if it's true).

Posted by: smfoster3 | January 7, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Psardis, it aint the 80's anymore. The game and talent level has changed. That being said a few shots from the point can't hurt, esp with deflections. I think though a well timed one-timer from a result of good passing is a higher percentage shot than one from the point.

Posted by: sordidvox | January 7, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that this series created more hockey fans and turned lots of casual fans (like me) into serious fans of hockey that any marketing the NHL has done in years. It was a great look at the sport.

Now if I can just figure out what a blueline call is . . .

Posted by: bethesdaguy | January 7, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is the folks who Laich helped are the ones who notified the press, not Brooks. That would be totally out of character for him.

Posted by: chopin224 | January 7, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Bruce is not a genius. The concept is laughable.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | January 8, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

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