I’m not totally sure how Washington regards Bruce Boudreau, since in pretty quick order he went from lovable icon to beleaguered sign of trouble to fired coach to Anaheim Ducks employee. That was a lot to process.
Which is how Brooks Laich came to be talking to his mother about Boudreau’s legacy in D.C.
“Actually, you know what, I was talking to my mom last night,” Laich said Monday morning on DC101. “And she was wondering how it was going, and I said Bruce didn’t win a Stanley Cup here in Washington, but 10 years from now, people will look back, and that man might be a hero.
“Because the first couple years here for me, there were seven, eight thousand fans in the stands. And then Bruce came on-board, and hockey is now the coolest thing in Washington, you know? And he was a huge part of that: the young guns and the offensive style, attracting [fans] and growing the game of hockey in Washington. I think he’ll forever be remembered as a huge part of that.”
I think Laich is likely correct. Although his very next answer would cause a great number of fans to say that Boudreau still had to go.
“[Dale Hunter] says hit everything that moves,” Laich said. “Dump it, get on the forecheck, be tough to play against. The one thing that he’s said since he’s come here is we’re not gonna score a whole lot of rush goals. He said against good teams in the playoffs, you don’t score those easy rush goals. He said you have to work for your goals, you have to be physical, you have to forecheck, score your goals off the cycle, [that] if you watch playoff hockey, that’s how the goals are scored.
“And I think he’s trying to mold our team that way. So you’ll see a lot more chipping and chasing, getting in races, strength along the boards, puck battles along the boards, support and that sort of stuff. And maybe not as much tic-tac-toe passing through the center of the ice. He’s been great. Hunstie’s been great....And everyone just absorbs everything he says. He’s a very respected man. And like I said, I think he’s gonna be great for us.”