Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/12/14 at 01:06 PM ET
from Andrew Knoll of the New York Times,
His label as hockey’s Everyman has worn a bit thin, but Anaheim Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau continues to produce results that are anything but ordinary.
The Ducks clinched their second consecutive Pacific Division title on Wednesday with a 5-2 victory against San Jose. Heading into Saturday night’s game against Los Angeles, they had 52 victories, a franchise record and four more than the 2007 team, which won the Stanley Cup. Their sights are now set on earning the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the most points in the N.H.L.
When Boudreau, 59, took over for Randy Carlyle in the 2011-12 season, the Ducks were in decline. But after a weak start, Boudreau nearly guided them to the playoffs, and now, in his second full season at the helm, has them in contention again. The Ducks have been one of the league’s best in holding leads after two periods and are the only team above .500 when they trail first. His players cite a personal connection with Boudreau as a big reason for their success.
“He gets to know the players, he gets to know their families and he wants to know how you’re doing at home,” said right wing Corey Perry, one of four holdovers from the 2007 team. “Those little things, they help. When you have a great relationship with your coach, you’re going to play hard for him.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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