Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau joined Daren Millard, Gord Stellick, and Scott Morrisson on Sportsnet 590 The FAN's "Hockey Central At Noon" show yesterday, which is simulcast on NHL Network and available as an audio podcast on iTunes. Here is a full transcription of Boudreau's answers:
On how 'tight' things get with early season losses:
Everything is magnified. Every mistake is magnified, every time you don't score is magnified so much more. If it's in the middle of the season nobody notices, but a lot of people notice when you've got a zero at the start of your win column. So it was really good whether we played that well or not, we got a great goaltending effort, it was good enough to secure the win.
On what he says as a coach when good goal scorers aren't scoring:
We preach shooting and going to the net. Nothing comes easy, and you're not going to get the pretty goal if you wait for it to happen, you have to go out and make it happen. You end up ending slumps a little bit like we did last night; three shots from the point, tip-ins at the front of the net, by going to the places that you need to go to score goals. There's so many goals, and I don't know what the exact percentage is, I've heard it's 75% of all goals are scored within five feet of the blue paint, so that's where the goals are happening.
Was he mad with how poorly the Ducks were playing:
No. San Jose came out in the first game, it was a 1-0 game with four minutes to go in the game. They had more chances than us to score, but we had plenty of chances to score. The Vancouver game, I thought we played really well, we just lost in the shootout. The game we played bad was magnified, was the Phoenix game. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes and we looked very lethargic. The Colorado game, we took 91 shots at the net and they blocked 41 shots, that doesn't happen very often, so we just thought we were snake bit. It can go one way or the other, you can say 'it's not the way things are going', or you can buckle down and get madder, and continue to do what you do, and I think that was more the case of our game last night.
With all the focus on the Stanley Cup and the playoffs, how hard is it or is it easy to lose track of regular season:
I don't think it's easy, everybody knows you don't get anywhere in this league until you make the playoffs. It's tough to make the playoffs; you can ask the LA Kings, the Sharks, all the Western teams that were supposed to make it last year. We might've talked about it in the summer, and maybe in training camp what we want to accomplish, but we don't talk about it since the season started. It's all about short term goals, weekly goals, things of that nature, and then eventually the process, if we play the right way, will take care of itself.
Do short term goals change given the playoff experience from last year:
No, my philosophy is 'win the week'. If you can win every week that you play; if you have three games win two out of three, if you have four games get five points or more. If you can do that you're going to have a successful year. I think the attention span sometimes, whether it's players or coaches is not much more than that. You have to make it short term. Doing video and stuff, if you do 20 minutes now you've lost everybody, so you've got to keep it short and to the point, and that's what works.
Is Sunday the first day of the week because of the win over Minnesota:
No, it was the end of the four-day week and the talk was 'lets salvage the week.'
On Hampus Lindholm leading the team in ice time, and what makes him special:
He's big, he can skate, he hasn't reached anywhere near his potential or where he can go. When he's good he looks really good, and he was a major cog in our team last year. Right now he's trying to find his game as well, he's struggled a bit. Last night he got an empty net goal and an assist which was a great start and I think that will boost his confidence, but like a lot of us right now we haven't put our 'A game' together yet. We'd better on this road trip or we'll be in trouble.
How much has the team changed from last year, and how much does Boudreau feel it had to:
It changed six players or seven players right now that are different, which is 40% or 35% of your team, more than you would think. When you have free agency and feel there's a need that you have to have to get further ahead, then you go out and get it, and Bob (Murray) does that, he's not afraid to make that move.
Is it concerning that the big guys (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry) haven't gotten going:
No, they played a lot better last night I thought. (Ryan) Kesler has been really good, he just hasn't put up any points. Last game we put him against (Zach) Parise's line and he shut them down, the game before he was against (Nathan) MacKinnon and he shut them down every time he was on. He's doing his job and playing hard, it's just that the goals are hard to come by right now. I've seen Corey Perry go in to areas where it was 10 games and he didn't score a goal, and all of a sudden he scores seven in the next five, just as I saw Alex (Ovechkin) do that in Washington where he'd have a 10 game side and then the next thing you know he'd score 10 goals in the next five games, that's what goal-scorers do. I'm not worried about his goal scoring, I know when he gets one, he'll get more than one, and that'll be the case. Eventually, if we can win some games and they're not scoring, I know eventually they're gonna start scoring.
How Kevin Bieksa has fit in and what he brings to the team:
He's a pretty vocal leader, he's physical, he gives you some calmness back there, he protects his teammates. From what I've seen so far everyone rallies around him and likes him.
With three-on-three overtime, what was the transition like from first seeing it, to now as a coach:
Wow, it was like one little mistake and it's over. The ones I've watched, you've gotta have possession, you can never dump it, and every shot you take must be a shot to score. If it's not a shot to score, all you're doing is giving them the puck.
Will three-on-three overtime slow down eventually for everybody:
When the points are really important one way or the other, you'll see teams going for it more, or teams waiting for an opportunity and being more defensive and when they have the puck not try to advance it as much. As the course of the year goes along, teams that need those points desperately will be coming full at you.
System in place for the coaches challenge given the speed needed for the decision:
Our video coach is right on top of it, and he would phone in to Paul (MacLean) and say "that's not a good goal." It doesn't take him longer than 10-15 seconds to replay it, then I'd call the refs over and call a timeout. Any time there's sometime like that, last night (Minnesota) were going to question a call and they just stayed at the bench until the refs blew the whistle to get them there, so they got an extra 30 seconds to look at it, to see if it was a good goal or not.
On using a timeout early, and whether special attention is paid to keep it 'in your back pocket':
There would've been a couple times in the second period when we had the lead, because we were pretty tired off icings. You're waiting for the last minute now to see if you need it. We called it with four minutes or three minutes to go in the game last night because we felt we had a two-goal lead and it wasn't as important to hold it just incase something crazy happens. Definitely all the coaches are cognizant of it, we all talk about it on the bench all the time.
While a lot of the discussion focuses on the team's response in picking up their first win of the season against the Wild on Sunday, there are some other interesting bits in there.
What did you find most interesting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.