Five Questions: Ducks' Boudreau on Team Success

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 11:38 AM / News
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Five Questions: Ducks\' Boudreau on Team Success
Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau talked about his team, its hot streak, and the right ways to handle success at this point in the season.
By NHL.com

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With ..." runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news
.

The latest edition features Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau:

Bruce Boudreau may very well be the envy of the hockey coaching world right now.

His Anaheim Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL and have opened a 13-point lead in the Pacific Division, arguably the best division in the League. The Ducks have a five-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Presidents' Trophy race. They have won 17 of their past 18 games and are just about unbeatable at home with a 19-0-2 record at Honda Center this season.

Better yet, the weather in Southern California has been spectacular (low-to-mid 80s and sunny) and in 11 days the Ducks will have the opportunity to play against the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in the first edition of the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series.

Life is good. The Ducks are better, at least for right now.

Boudreau talked about his team, its hot streak, and the right ways to handle success at this point in the season during a phone interview with NHL.com on Monday.

Here are Five Questions with … Bruce Boudreau:

Why has this team been able to go 17-1-0 in the past 18 games? What is working so well for you guys?

"We've been getting really good goaltending, opportune goals, and I think probably the most important thing is we've got really good people in the room and they like to win. We haven't had some of the greatest starts in history during these games, but they're a pretty determined group and we're playing as good as we can play. Sometimes we've met up with some teams with a lot of injuries and certain things, but to go through a record like this luck has to be on your side. We've had a lot of the breaks like that. Good things are happening for us and we hope they don't change."

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau talked about his team, its hot streak, and the right ways to handle success at this point in the season. (Photo: Debora Robinson/NHLI)

The last team to win 17 of 18 games in the same regular season is one you're quite familiar with, the 2009-10 Washington Capitals. You were behind the bench then and you are now. Is there something about your coaching style that breeds this kind of sustained success?

"No, but I think the fact that I've been able to get jobs with two good teams and personnel helps. The Washington team was a little bit different. That year we scored so many goals. We would just get out and blow the team away in the first period and we'd end up with a 6-3 or 6-4 game because we'd let up in the third. This team here, we have to fight and claw and we have had a lot of one-goal games, but we're comfortable in one-goal games. We seem to thrive in them."

That leads me right to my next question. You touched on it and it's true, one aspect of the game in which the team has been very good is coming back from deficits. Ten of your past 18 wins have been in comebacks and you're a League-best 15-5-1 when the opponent scores first. What is the feeling like on the bench when you get down, and why do you think this team has been able to be so good when it is trailing?

"When we get down we really believe we're not playing as well as we can, so you know there is room for improvement. It's not like for the most part we've been playing so great and all of a sudden we're down, so how can we turn it up another notch because we're playing as good as we can. I think we believe when we do get scored on early and the team has a couple-goal lead that we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. Then we start doing things right and when we do things right [we play better]. Look at it, we've got really good scoring depth up front if you look at all four lines, so one line usually comes through. Not everybody is going to have a good night. Usually if two lines aren't playing well, the other two are. So we've had success scoring goals from everybody."

Jonas Hiller
Goalie - ANA
RECORD: 23-4-4
GAA: 2.34 | SVP: 0.914

You also mentioned goaltending in your first answer and that point should be noted too. Jonas Hiller struggled earlier, giving up at least four goals in five of 11 starts from Oct. 22-Nov. 26. In his personal 14-game win streak he has allowed more than two goals only three times. What have you seen in his game that has changed and allowed him to go on this run?

"I think his confidence right now is sky high. There's no doubt in my mind that when he goes into the net he likes the challenge of having the target on his back, of teams wanting to score very badly on him. I think that's one of the things. His consistency of not letting in a soft goal has been really good. I can't think of the last time in this streak, other than maybe one time, when he let a soft goal go in. That's one out of the 14 games he's played. One goal where I'm thinking, 'Ah, maybe he should have had that one.'"

What do you do during a streak like this? It's your second time through it, the team can seemingly do no wrong now, so what is your job at this stage?

"Well, continue to push and not to let anybody get satisfied. It's easy to get complacent when you're winning, but the one thing I've learned in my years in the NHL is you have to keep getting better. You can play as good as you can, at the top of your level, but if you don't get better on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis, come playoff time teams will have made the playoffs that haven't played to their potential in the regular season but are really good teams. When they lift their game up to the level that they're capable of playing, we better be able to match that. And if we're playing as good as we can in December and January, come April and May teams will rise above that. I constantly remind players of that."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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