Goodbye, Bruce Boudreau

Because the Capitals give my website,, access to games, I’ve sat in on several press conferences with former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau over the last three seasons. I’ve asked him a few questions, gotten some good answers, and even ran into him a few times at The Gardens Ice House. There were three times I will fondly remember.

The first was when I caught him off guard toward the end of a press conference last season, early on. “There are a lot of new commercials lately…” I began. “Oh shit,” he replied before I even asked my question. “Who is funnier? You or Ovie?” He went on to say that Ovechkin is funnier, but the press disagreed, and I think it was Jill Sorenson from Comcast who asked him about the commercial where he was performing bird calls in front of a crowd.

Another time I was in Laurel at the hockey rink, talking to another blogger, but also a Caps staff member. Bruce walks up to the three of us (I’m unclear if he recognized any of us) and asked us to change the channel to put golf on. He was there for his son’s team (I believe George McPhee was around, too), but he didn’t know that there were about a thousand Caps fans in the rink watching the alumni game. After I changed the channel for him, and after he took some photos with some fans, he split before the crowd let out.

The last memorable moment I had with him was after a Pittsburgh game. A lot happened in that game and the media had no shortage of questions. But when I brought up Matt Cooke, who had kneed Ovechkin during the game, Bruce exploded. His rant on Matt Cooke was widely quoted, as Cooke himself was going through a period of injuring people and getting suspended. No matter where I read Bruce’s rant, I had to smile because I knew it was me who asked that question. Sure, someone else would have if I hadn’t, but still… I’m glad it was me.

I’m going to miss Bruce Boudreau in Washington. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. He was supposed to be the one who saved this team and won them the Stanley Cup. All the ingredients were here, he did a fantastic job, but in the end, it just didn’t work anymore and that’s the only reason that matters. I will, however, have fond memories of the Winter Classic and HBO’s 24/7, something I watched them film live!

And yes, I will adopt the Anaheim Ducks as my West Coast team now that he’s the bench boss, there.