Gabby Gabs Online, Bringing Frank and Insightful Perspective

Picking up again on the theme that time and distance from torment affords valuable and more meaningful perspective, today the Washington Post hosted an online chat with Capitals’ head coach Bruce Boudreau. A chat with Bruce is ever illuminating, but while following this morning’s exchange I couldn’t help but think that the coach benefitted greatly from having a couple of weeks of decompress and soberly assess his team’s stunning and spirit-sapping setback against Montreal.

He was asked by one fan if the Game 7 defeat last month was the worst he’s endured in his hockey career.  

“I think it has to be. I have lost Game 7s before, but none hurt as much as this one,” the coach replied.

The coach suggested that Game 6 of the Montreal series might have been the best his team played all year. 

“Game 6 might have been our best game of the year. We deflected two pucks in our own net and they had an ENG [empty net goal]. I do not know if I have ever seen a team with more scoring chances being limited to one goal. [Halak] may have been as good as a goalie can play.”

One enterprising questioner asked the coach if he was free tomorrow night to coach his recreational hockey league game. The question ellicited the coach’s characteristic wit.  

“Unfortunate timing to say the least — I will be in Hershey watching the Bears. I will see if Dean or Bob is available. Hahaha.”

I had a question that got put before the coach and anwsered with striking and characteristic frankness:

Washington, DC: Coach, Mike Green recently suggested that the team’s protracted commute home after game 4 played a role in the team coming out flat at the start of game 5. Do you agree? And in general, what impact do extraordinary travel delays have on a club in a series with little time off between games?

Bruce Boudreau: I think the fog flight had a profound effect on us. The players missed an entire night of sleep and got out of their routine. We missed practice the following day and it showed in the first 10 minutes of Game 5, when Montreal scored both their goals.

And the coach cast his gaze a bit at the future.

Culpeper, VA: Which Hershey Bears young guys would you say have the strongest chance of earning a spot on the Caps roster in the 2010-2011 season?

p.s. You’re adorable.

Bruce Boudreau: I really like Carlson and Alzner. Perreault has a real good chance, as do Beagle, Andrew Gordon and Pinizzotto. Michal Neuvirth as well. They are all having great seasons and are banging at the door.

This entry was posted in Bruce Boudreau, Hershey Bears, National Hockey League, NHL playoffs, Prospects, Washington Capitals, Washington Post. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Gabby Gabs Online, Bringing Frank and Insightful Perspective

  1. Bill Marton says:

    The general consensus is that BB got outcoached by Jacques Martin in the Montreal series. It would have been interesting if someone asked BB about this. While I would not have asked it quite so bluntly, it would have been illuminating to ask him to grade his regular season and postseason coaching. Personally, I would give him an A- for the regular season and C-/D+ for the playoffs. The Caps repeatedly were outworked and didn’t adjust tactically to Montreal’s defensive strategy.


  2. Geo says:

    Since Dan Bylsma’s one step away (granted, not blowing a 3-1 series lead) from meeting BB’s same fate, replete with Halak break-dancing on his head, maybe fans will stop citing Bylsma as some sort of genius savant.

    Maybe Montreal’s a good team that got hot at the right time (like the ’97-’98 Caps) rather than it being a case of Boudreau and now Bylsma being dunderheads who can’t figure out how to adjust to a suffocating trap system and a hot goalie.

  3. Michelle says:

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s game to see the outcome 🙂 Go Habs Go!!!

  4. Geo,

    While I commend Bylsma’s stepping in in mid-season last season and guiding a team to a Cup (no volume of roster skill makes that an easy feat), your observation about Montreal is important. They were savagely beat up most of the season (and are again now), got healthy toward season’s end, and overhauled their systems to take down the Caps, and perhaps the Pens. Martin has gotten 20 skaters to buy into what he’s selling, even his skill guys. That is especially impressive.

  5. Sherrie Van Houten says:

    Teams in the Western Conference deal with horrible travel on a daily basis. When the Red Wings were eliminated, they already had more than thirteen thousand miles racked up during this year’s playoffs. In the regular season, it’s even worse. So while I’m still sad for the Caps’ loss, I’m not too impressed with blaming it on one late night of “bad” travel.

  6. dough says:

    Saying that Boudreau’s online chat was “frank” and “insightful” is a bit of a stretch. Actually, he didn’t say jack.

  7. JR says:

    I don’t know if he didn’t say jack…he had some very nice excuses. I mean come on…the fog again? Of course you don’t draw it up like that but that’s nothing but a bunch of loser talk. Keep all those excuses in your bag BB, because I’m sure by next spring you’ll need them after you get fired.

  8. VAFan says:

    Who knows the ultimate impact of the fog delay. What did strike me about that night was that the possibility of that happening was a known issue in the aviation community. It is a minute detail, being prepared to make a decision regarding whether to attempt that flight, or check into a hotel and wait out the fog with a good night’s sleep.
    When striving for an utlimate goal such as the Cup, the entire team must attend to every minute detail. I believe the decision that night to try to fly home was an indication the team had not committed itself 100% to winning a Cup.

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