After starting the season a below-par 7-13-4, the Anaheim Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau, who was let go by the Washington Capitals just two days ago. To me, it’s much of the same only with a different personality.
When Boudreau took over from Glen Hanlon to coach the Capitals early in the 2007-08 season, the team was looking for a new direction and they got it with Boudreau as he had great success with his new team finishing first in the Southeast not only that season but each of the next three seasons and third, second, first and first again in the conference in that order, winning the President’s Cup in 2009-10. However, under Boudreau, the Caps only got past the first round once.
Of the seven coaches in Anaheim’s 19-year history, no bench boss had won more games than Randy Carlyle with 273. Carlyle was also the coach to guide the Ducks to a Stanley Cup title in 2007. After enough time, however, the impact fades and Carlyle’s days in Anaheim were numbered.
Given his poor record so far this season, the star-studded trio of Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan had trouble meshing and it seemed as though Carlyle didn’t have their attention anymore. It was a similar situation in Washington as Boudreau had the same issues with the likes of Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom.
I admit that Bruce Boudreau is a much more personable coach than Randy Carlyle and maybe some new faces behind the bench is just what the Ducks need (with Carlyle, the team’s assistants were also relieved of their duties). But it’s whether or not Boudreau will have a lasting impact that’s the real question.
To me, Carlyle and Boudreau were fired from their respective teams for essentially the same reasons. With Ducks’ GM Bob Murray bringing in Bruce Boudreau, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Murray can’t possibly believe that his new coach will have much of a long-term impact. He may gel with his new team at first but Boudreau may just end up facing the same issues in Anaheim that he did in Washington.
Not only that but Boudreau has proven that he can’t quite get his teams to perform in the playoffs. Maybe having the aforementioned Getzlaf, Perry and veteran Teemu Selanne will help as they’ve been to the promised land before unlike Alexander Ovechkin.
I don’t want to completely dismiss the hiring of Boudreau but I’m not altogether optimistic either that the new bench boss will make much of a contribution.
The Los Angeles Kings will face their rival’s new coach next Tuesday when they travel to Anaheim. It should be good.
Photo: Courtesy of TJ Scheider