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While the Boudreau bump might be long over with, the honeymoon continues with the new bench boss. At least from this corner.
One of the early comments from Canucks fans and media was the refreshing honesty. Starting goaltender? It’s so and so. Usually Demko. Who was going last night? Player X. Who wasn’t going? Player Y. Bam. Without a pause.
No filter, and really no consequence. He didn’t construct this team, and neither did his boss. So no matter what he says, providing it doesn’t cross the boundary of good taste, nothing will really cost Bruce Boudreau.
Now this doesn’t supersede the coach’s will to win, because of course he wants to win. Boudreau doesn’t have infinite years left in his NHL life. So if he can be the hero and take this team to the playoffs, he’ll gladly do it. But he’s at the very least, a realist. Knowing not only the math in the standings but what this roster is.
"Chiasson had four golden chances all set up by Petey, and we need guys at that point that hopefully can finish those."
-Bruce Boudreau on switching up Elias Pettersson's linemates. #Canucks
— David Quadrelli (@QuadreIli) March 3, 2022
He made that clear yesterday when lamenting a winger for Elias Pettersson, saying that if Alex Chiasson can’t score on four golden chances given to him, then he has to try someone else. And then in the next breath saying, if he chooses Nils Höglander, then the kid needs to stop focusing on points, and play a complete game.
Boudreau also called out the entire team in some regard, saying the poor starts are on them. And if anybody remembers, this is what gave me the “Baby Dragon” nickname from the late Jason Botchford. After a string of bad starts way back when, I suggested that pro hockey players need to be pros. Need to arrive ready, moving at 100 percent from the get-go. A coach can’t do that for a player.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. And these Canuck thoroughbreds to need drink a little more consistently.
But all of this, it’s the kind of talk this team and market needs. You might not agree with all Boudreau says, and you might not want to hear some of it. But it’s the world as Boudreau sees it, and the mind games are over from behind the bench. Hurt feelings or not, you’ll know where you stand with this coach.
So never mind Canucks Twitter, one of the most vocal critics of this team? It’s the head coach.