ANAHEIM, CALIF.—The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, two days after the four-time Pacific Division champions’ first-round exit from the playoffs.
While announcing the move, Ducks general manager Bob Murray expressed much more anger at his players than at Boudreau, who hasn’t been able to pair post-season success with steady excellence in his two NHL jobs in Anaheim and Washington. Boudreau has won 409 regular-season games and eight division titles, but just five playoff rounds in his coaching career.
The Ducks have lost a Game 7 on home ice in four consecutive playoff years, culminating in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Nashville in the first round.
“I just think the last four years, the way they’ve ended, all very similar, that I didn’t think it would be a good situation to go forward in,” Murray said. “In no way, shape or form is this pointing a gun at Bruce’s head. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But you’ve got to start somewhere.”
Boudreau had spectacular regular-season success with the Ducks, leading them to four consecutive division titles while going 208-104-40 in nearly five seasons in charge. He had similar success in his first NHL coaching job in Washington, going 201-88-40 and winning four Southeast Division titles in parts of five seasons.
But the Ducks’ last four seasons have ended in much the same disappointment as experienced by the Capitals, who won just two playoff rounds in four post-seasons under Boudreau. The coach is an inexplicable 1-7 in Game 7s in his career, including six consecutive losses in the decisive game since 2009.
Compounding the pain, the Ducks also blew a 3-2 series lead in each of the past four post-seasons, missing two opportunities to eliminate their opponents.
Murray acknowledged no complaints about Boudreau’s job performance while firing him, essentially acknowledging it’s easier to fire the coach than the players.
via Greg Beacham Associated Press, thestar.com | photo, winnipegfreepress.com
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