After the Anaheim Ducks’ morning skate, Bruce Boudreau’s words had the staring-into-the-abyss sanguinity of a death row inmate.
“Every day’s a new day,” Boudreau said. “The sun’s still coming up even if it is in Chicago in October/early November. You look for the positives in everything, and you’re not sitting around being gloomy. Today, I talked to them about how great it is to be a hockey player. We’re so lucky, so blessed to do this job that we love, rather than doing things that are forced upon you. And we have to play with that. We have to play with that enthusiasm.”
Has anyone checked to see if he’s updated his LinkedIn?
The Ducks have three more games on this road trip: Monday night at the Chicago Blackhawks, then Tuesday night at the Dallas Stars and then Thursday night at the St. Louis Blues. Not exactly a plate of cupcakes there.
Were they to break out against three of the best teams in the conference, perhaps Boudreau Watch goes by the wayside. At least that’s our hope: He’s not the reason Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have combined for two assists in seven games, or why their power-play is clicking at a league-worst 5.8 percent.
But if these Ducks continue to descend into the deep fryer, a new coach will likely be there when they inevitably cycle out of it.
“The thing that’s interesting is that that’s a really tense team and Trent Yawney is a really intense guy. Bruce can be a little bit more relaxed, although I know when he’s in these kind of situations he gets really tense too.
“There’s not going to be a lot – I mean, a lot of people there have been campaigning for Randy Carlyle to come back. There’s Paul MacLean. There’s Trent Yawney. I mean, they’re all pretty serious guys. I would assume it’s going to be Trent, but it could be any one of the three.”
Yawney was the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for 103 games from 2005-07 and … well, things could have gone better: 33-55-15, fired and replaced by Denis Savard.
With Yawney having been on the Ducks bench the last two seasons the players are familiar with him, but the question remains that considering the issues for Anaheim are with the offense at the moment, why would the move be to bring in a more defensively-inclined coach? Defense has been the area of Yawney's focus as an assistant, and with the Ducks currently giving up more shots than they average (27.6 shots vs 31.0 shots against) the question is how much is that disparity due to struggles with coverage in the defensive zone vs lack of execution offensively.
If anything the move further shows just tough the decision to fire Boudreau will be, considering there is no 'slam dunk' replacement available on the market. Yawney is a former minor pro coach of the year, named by the Hockey News in 03-04. However promoting a defensive assistant, whose AHL teams for the organization struggled to score, feels like it would be an underwhelming move for a team with title aspirations at the beginning of the season.
We still think keeping Boudreau is the preferred option over promoting one of his assistants on an interim basis for the simply reason that “he’s a meanie.”
Granted, it’s not our $65 million roster swirling around the bowl; but Bob Murray, maybe make a trade first?
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