ARLINGTON, Va. -- Bruce Boudreau didn't spend much time without an NHL head coaching job, and several of his former players are thankful for that.
The Washington Capitals woke up Thursday morning preparing to face the rival Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center, but they also found out about Boudreau's new gig in Anaheim just three days after he lost his job coaching them.
"I saw it on the ticker on SportsCenter this morning, and you know what? Good for him -- I'm glad he got a new job so quickly, and to a team that with his system will do a great job," defenseman Jeff Schultz, one of four guys on the Capitals who played for Boudreau both in Washington and for Hershey in the American Hockey League.
Boudreau was the fastest coach in NHL history to 200 wins after helping transform the Capitals into one of the League's dominant franchises in the regular season. Postseason success eluded the Capitals, and the team dropped 10 of 15 games after a 7-0-0 start this season, leading to Boudreau's dismissal.
The Ducks are in a similar situation to the one Boudreau walked into four years ago in Washington. Anaheim is in 14th place in the Western Conference despite having a roster laden with several elite talents.
"It is good for him," forward Brooks Laich said. "He did a lot around here and we knew he'd land on his feet. I think he's going into a good situation. They have a good team and he'll be excellent for them."
The Capitals were a young, unproven team when Boudreau arrived and molded them into contenders. Anaheim is not a young team, and the core of this team has already won a Stanley Cup.
That said, the Ducks have not played well this season with Randy Carlyle as coach, and it is possible Boudreau's more offensive-minded philosophy could energize them.
"Yeah, he's a great guy and a great coach," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "I don't think it is going to be a problem for him and for that team to connect [with] each other."