Thursday, February 07, 2008

All About Bruce

Boudreau gets yet another well-earned day in the spotlight, as ESPN continues their "surprise story" spotlight of the Caps with part three, a look at BB himself. Meanwhile over at the coach took some time to answer questions from the fans, which included these little gems:

Reston, Va.: Would you prefer to coach in a 1-0 game or a 6-5 game?
Bruce Boudreau: Coaches love to be thought of as defensive gurus, but personally I just want to be the coach that has the higher of the two numbers on the scoreboard. So it does not matter to me.

Mohawk, MI: What do you miss most about coaching in the minor leagues?
Bruce Boudreau: McDonald's of course. And the movies on the bus.

And of course this Bruce quote, pointed out by astute reader Victor:

South Riding, Va.: How do you pick players for the overtime shootout?
Bruce Boudreau: You have your standard go-to guys, but you might sneak in a guy who is having a hot game. Or if you go 10 or 12 rounds then some of the guys just jump on the ice and go.

Oh, Matt Bradley. We do love you.

Then there's the AP story about how the Caps went from worst to first and why. Of course they point to the fact that the Southeast Division is the weakest in the league - and I have to say, I take issue with that. Not that it's a barn-burning division by any stretch, but Carolina got off to a very hot start and was right on pace with Detroit and Ottawa before a rash of injuries devastated the team and cooled them off; on the flip side, both Washington and Atlanta got off to a slow start and are just now getting hot.

It's not so much a weak division as it is an inconsistent one - should the Caps win the division and make the postseason I'm sure we'll have to revisit that discussion time and time again.

Here's the promising part, though. In Burnside's piece on Boudreau, he clearly states that this is not where they want to be. They want to be challenging the Senators, Habs and Devils of the league, not just the Thrashers and Islanders. As a Caps fan you have to feel encouraged by the continuing sense on this team that good enough is not good enough. And if that keeps up, whether or not the Southeast Division is weak or not may not be the story for much longer.

Continuing the ESPN lovefest, we have a question and answer session with Alex Ovechkin, again over on always did love us over there, didn't they? Nothing particularly earth-shattering, just more of the same lovable Ovechkin we see everyday. The kid was raised right for sure.

Sandwiched between college football and NBA news...proof of's undying (and until now, hidden) love for the Caps

And rounding it all out, props for Boudreau from "the hairdo" himself, Barry Melrose - who needs to learn how to pronounce Semin's last name before the FCC steps in:

H/t to Peerless for the video

It's funny how getting first place in the division suddenly shines the spotlight on the little team that could, isn't it? Not that we don't welcome the attention, of course. We even got a little more love from ESPN last night, when one of the commentators followed up a blink and you miss it highlight reel of our game by saying "that's it, I'm officially a bandwagon Ovechkin fan."

Welcome aboard, friend. You're not the first and you certainly won't be the last - but there's room for all.


Chris & Sarah said...

Love the NY Giants analogy. Hope they can draw inspiration from that and make this an awesome year, not just a great one.

Chris & Sarah said...

And I'm always amazed at how much better Ovies grasp of English is when he is interviewed by other media outlets ;^)

Victor said...

This question torked me off:

New York: What do you say to purist fans of hockey who bemoan the fact Ovechkin will spend his career in a weak market for hockey?

Gotta give the Coach credit for diplomacy; I would have answered with something along the lines of, "I suppose he would do better with a team that only wins the Cup every 54 years or so, and only after practically changing your team mascot to the Oilers, eh?"

spiff said...

All this media attention is making me nervous. There was even a 'nearly' full page article on Ovie in the Post Express this morning...I don't want people jinxing us... but am I jinxing us by talking about how it might jinx us?...crap

Eh, I'm still excited anyways, they have been a pleasure to watch, as of late, and it's certainly NEVER a boring game.

WFY said...

So, is this a tragedy of dreams come true? ;)

Fans: The media ignores the Caps!

Media covers team

Fans: The media is going to jinx them!

CapsChick said...

C&S: I enjoyed that too (although Giants, ick) - I think the fact that no one on this team seems satisfied with simply leading the division is also an amazing sign that they're motivated to do some great things this year.

Victor: Well, my response would have been slightly more colorful, but yes, good for Bruce for humoring the idiot population.

spiff: What concerns me more is the tendency to sit back when everyone is already proclaiming you a success (see Sabres, Buffalo)...from what I've seen out of these guys, though, I don't think we have to be worried.

WFY: Hey, we're Caps fans! If you're not complaining about something, you're not trying hard enough (see Sabres, Buffalo). ;)