The 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs can provide a measure of vindication for Bruce Boudreau. No, the team that fired him still resides in the Eastern Conference and it would require a finals meeting between the No. 2-seed Anaheim Ducks and No. 3-seed Washington Capitals for them to battle this year.
The Ducks are positioned to destroy Boudreau’s old demons in their own right, however. Part of the reason Boudreau was fired early in the 2011-2012 season was because his Caps teams would look thoroughly dominant over the course of a season before suddenly cooling off at the end.
Boudreau will attempt to avoid a similar end on the West Coast, though his team has only won five its last 10 including Saturday’s loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
“The effort of playoff-mode hockey was there (Saturday),” Boudreau told AnaheimDucks.com. “We played a pretty good defensive team and we ended up with 46 shots on goal, and sometimes that’s misleading, but we had some great chances to score and we just never put it in. Hopefully starting Tuesday, if we have that same kind of effort, we’ll get a couple more bounces our way.”
The Ducks (30-12-6) now prepare to face the the Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8) in the 2-7 matchup. Anaheim will need Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne to raise their games dramatically if the Ducks are to survive the cagy Wings. Detroit was in danger of missing the playoffs and snapping their epic streak before Henrik Zetterberg and goaltending from Jimmy Howard carried them to four straight wins to close out the regular season.