It would be a bad deal if the top-seeded Caps bow out in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs again, giving them three first-round knockouts in Bruce Boudreau’s four playoff appearances. If you’re a Caps fan, you’ve probably thought about that once or twice, and what it might mean for Boudreau’s future here.
Of course, it would be a good deal if the Caps won the Stanley Cup, and it would make Boudreau king of this town for decades, and Alex Ovechkin his prince, or maybe duke, or possibly czar. You’ve probably also considered that.
These are things we’ve all thought about with each other over beers and onion rings and cheese-and-tomato sandwiches at our local pubs. They’re not typically things we’ve asked Boudreau about, but bless Mike Wise for taking the plunge.
“You know this is a results-oriented business,” Wise said during Boudreau’s appearance on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday afternoon. “ Do you and your wife have a conversation, like hey, honey, I’ve got to get us out of the first round this year, or I’m in trouble. Do you even have those [conversations]? I know you don’t have them with your team, but do you ever have those conversations at all with anybody close to you? And have you been guaranteed or on the same page with management and ownership regarding your status with this team going into this postseason?”
Awkward. I mean, awk-ward. Boudreau’s response:
“I don’t even want to go there. You know, that question is exactly the kind of thing....When I said, hey, our team was doing good, it was those kind of questions....The media, you just don’t want us to do good, because it’s better press if we do bad. So you’re asking me a question, if we don’t win, am I gonna get fired? It has never been approached in my household. It’s never been approached by George or Ted or anybody else. And we’re looking at things positively here Mike, not negatively.”
At which point Wise started backtracking, saying he would “take any kind of negativity out of” the question, and pointing out that he’s defended Boudreau in the past.
“What I’m saying very simply is have you been guaranteed by management or ownership that you’re gonna stick around?” Wise asked. “I think it’s a fair question, because of your history with this team and all the good things you’ve done.”
Yeah. Still awkward. Not illegitimate as a question, but certainly awkward. Boudreau’s response:
“Well, I don’t think it’s a fair question. You’re asking me if they’ve come out and said Don’t worry Bruce, if you lose you’re gonna be around. The question has never been broached or approached. We’ve never conversed about it. That’s not George’s style. I’m here coaching the team and we’re trying to win. End of story.
Trying to ease the tension, Wise asked Boudreau whether he was going to call for his job.
“I don’t want your job,” Boudreau said, which is probably for the best.
“I didn’t word it the way I wish I would have, I’m sorry,” Wise said.
“No problem,” Boudreau said.