It was disappointing to see the results at the end of our first game; especially after waiting all summer to get going again and seeing many good things happen in training camp. We know our boys are better than what the scoreboard said and to lose as the Pacific Division Champs from last year to a team that didn’t even make the playoffs last year was shocking to most of us. Fortunately, we’ve shown some of our old character in the last two games and are skating in the right direction. There is still work to be done, but that’s for another conversation.
The one thing that can make us proud coming out of that first game, is our Coach. Over the past 20 years, the Ducks have had some of the best coaches in the league grace our locker room and bench, leading the team. Maybe, just not always the right coach at the right time, but nothing really horrible. Coach Boudreau, even though we still think of him as the “new coach” is a really great guy.
We all love the fact that he is accessible to us fans most of the time. We like it that he’s a “player’s coach”. We have many young players and guys from all over that haven’t played together that much. We need a “uniter” and a “motivator”. Something like when your Mother would send you to your room for some infraction of the house rules; but, after you did your time, she would give you a cookie before bedtime.
We witnessed our Coach, at the end of the first game, face ranting from the opposing coach, people pouring popcorn on his head over the glass and two guys from the enemy team, purposely put on the ice for the final face off, go after his players, after the horn had sounded. How did he respond? Bruce was no shrinking violet. He let the other coach know what he was thinking and he stood his ground personally and for the team, even though it looked like the barrier might fall on him. BUT, he didn’t lose his cool or go after anyone on his own team or the other team.
It would have been easy for him to lose control. After all, we just finished a game where we pretty much sucked; we did things in our play that Coach had been preaching against for weeks, like he’d never said anything. We made mistakes that we never make. Ugh! That’s enough by itself to make a Coach lose it, and then add in all the drama from the opposition.
Ask yourself this: If my team had just won a game 6 to 1, how would I feel about my coach ranting and throwing a tantrum? Isn’t celebration more appropriate? Then, my coach earns, yes, earns, he had to work hard for this, a $10,000 fine from the NHL? And, then, makes a statement to the press blaming the other team for his bad behavior.
It will be an interesting year for our friends that cheer for the Avs. We are all now guaranteed a rivalry that will go on for some years; started by a coach of all things.
What do we say? GAME ON! LET’S GO DUCKS!! GO COACH GO!!! WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!!!