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Posted at 07:39 AM ET, 01/04/2011

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on John Carlson for Calder Trophy, HBO and the Winter Classic

John Carlson and Karl Alzner have been successful shutting down some of the Capitals' toughest opponents, most recently Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 Winter Classic victory. In an interview on NHL Live Monday, Coach Bruce Boudreau raved about the young defensive pair.

"We had them playing against Crosby's line all night, and [Montreal's Mike] Cammalleri's line the game before, and they've done such a great job of shutting teams down," Boudreau said. "Their gaps, defensively, are really, really good, and they can both skate, and they've both got great sticks -- they're not overly physical, but they take direction really well, and it allows the Mike Greens on our team to not have to do that, where they can become a little bit more offensive, but Alzner and Carlson... they've been great."

The Capitals coach had even more praise for 20-year-old Carlson, who played a team-high 26:28 against Pittsburgh.

"John Carlson, I don't know what's gonna happen," Boudreau said, "but he should be mentioned, at least in the conversation, when they start talking about best rookies of this year."

After the jump, check out some of Boudreau's more entertaining remarks from a quality interview.


(Via @wyshynski)


ON THAT CONDIMENT-ON-THE-FACE INTERVIEW
I had eczema, I didn't have any stuff on my face. It was my skin, was all red and dry. I went to the HBO people after that and I said, 'How could you guys do that?' and they said, 'No, no, it was dry skin...' so they convinced me it [looked like] dry skin.

ON THE SHOW GIVING THE CAPS MORE EXPOSURE
I had no idea, quite frankly. You know HBO is big, but... And Barry Melrose once told me that being on ESPN... how much he gets recognized, and that's what I keep thinking of. I never thought of this at all, but I guess a lot of people are watching the show, which is a great testament to the program that's being shown.

ON THE CAPS BEING A HAPPIER TEAM IN EPISODE FOUR
I never watched the first episode, but I'm looking forward to watching the last one.

ON THE WINTER CLASSIC
Getting on the bench, sometimes you're sitting there and you're pinching yourself and you can't believe you're the one there. [Assistant coach] Dean Evason turned to me at one point and said, "I've got goosebumps all down my neck," and I agreed with him, because it was pretty exciting seeing both sides, as far as the fans go, cheering and booing and chanting, and it was really, really cool. I hope at some point that every player gets to experience something like that.

ON GAINING CONFIDENCE
I think we know the potential that we have to play a really good, tight playoff game. I thought we were playing pretty good coming into that. My biggest fear is, there was such a buildup and it's a month-long ordeal there, that we're gonna have a let down. And we play Tampa [Tuesday] and we can't afford to have a letdown.

By  |  07:39 AM ET, 01/04/2011

Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Bruce Boudreau, Bruce Boudreau, Bruce Boudreau, Bruce Boudreau

 
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