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Five Questions: Boudreau on Capitals' stint, SoCal life

Friday, 10.26.2012 / 9:00 AM / Five Questions With…

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Five Questions: Boudreau on Capitals' stint, SoCal life
The Anaheim Ducks coach talks to NHL.com about everything from his time in Washington to adjusting to the Southern California lifestyle to his minor role in hockey's classic film.

NHL.com will periodically be doing a series called "Five Questions With …," a Q&A with some of the key movers and shakers in the game today aimed at gaining some insight into their lives and careers.

This edition features Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau:

Bruce Boudreau is poring through video of old games and taking down notes as he watches them as a way to keep himself busy and somewhat fresh during the ongoing lockout.

Boudreau told NHL.com he just finished watching a handful of Ducks games from 2007 and some of his old games with the Washington Capitals. He even watched a few Vancouver Canucks games.

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was born and raised in Ontario, but is adjusting well to his new lifestyle in SoCal. (Photo: Getty Images)

Anaheim's coach isn't looking for anything specific, but instead is taking note of things like slow line changes just to make sure that when his Ducks players return, he will have some important coaching points to go over.

Boudreau also is helping to coach his 14-year-old son Brady's teams at the travel and high school level in Anaheim.

Speaking of high school hockey, Boudreau and his coaching staff also recently held a seminar for coaches from the 14-team Ducks High School Hockey League, along with coaches from the Junior Ducks program, the Lady Ducks Orange County Hockey Club and Anaheim ICE.

They presented an hour-long video and held a question-and-answer session with the group of about 50 coaches, including ex-Ducks players Craig Johnson and Dave Karpa, both now coaches in the Ducks High School Hockey League.

The always opinionated and never shy Boudreau also gave NHL.com some time out of his day to participate in our own Q&A series to answer questions about living the Southern California lifestyle, being away from the East Coast, old friends, new friends and a familiar role.

Here are Five Questions With … Bruce Boudreau:

How have you, an Ontario-born and -raised guy and a true East Coaster through and through, adjusted to the move to Southern California?

"The move itself has been fine, and when you wake up every morning and the weather is nice, it's great, quite frankly. The best thing is I can wake up at 6 every morning and find out what is going on because it's already 9 back East. Those are benefits. And last year, a benefit was being able to watch all the early games and all the late games. When you're in the east, as much as we say we're watching all the late games, we don't. They last too long and you have to get up too early.

"But to say I don't miss Ontario and my friends back there would be a lie. It's tough. Even in D.C., if this [lockout] situation was happening, I would just drive up to my mom's place, six or seven hours away. If friends were around they could come down for the weekend. It's a little more difficult now, especially with my kids -- I have two in Ottawa and another in Paris playing hockey. My 14-year-old [Brady] is here with me. But you feel if something was to go wrong, it's a long ways to get there. My mother is 80.

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"So when you talk about being a long ways away from family, it's tough that you can't just say, 'Come on over.' That's the most difficult thing, but the people are great here, the weather is great. I'm keeping myself busy helping coach my kid's teams, both high school and club hockey. It's keeping me around hockey."

Since Washington was a special place for you, can you reflect back on the end there and describe how difficult it was to leave and go out the way you did, fired in late November after a slow start?

"Well, I mean, it's all fond memories. Sometimes the split is always a little negative in your memory bank, but I think it's a great city. I never realized when I went there how great a city that was. I really appreciate it now that I'm gone, the history of the city and the friends we made there. I talk to many of them all the time. I didn't realize how long-lasting the friends would be. I made some really good relationships. It was the best, up to this point, four-and-a-half years of my life. I miss it, but I also love new adventures. This is a great new adventure [in Anaheim] that hopefully we can build into something when we get back to playing."

Was it gratifying to see the Capitals have some success in the playoffs last season, or was it frustrating as you watched what had become a shell of the up-tempo, run-and-gun team you helped build there?

"The gratifying part -- and I don't know if that's the right word -- is I was happy for certain individuals on that team that I know just hate to lose and they play so hard. So when they had a little bit of success, winning the first round in probably the first time they hadn't been favored in a round for five years, I was happy for them.

"As far as anything else goes, I think human nature dictates that I didn't want them to win. I think that's just human nature. I was hoping for some players to have success and players I really like to do well and they did, but quite frankly nobody ever admits it -- and maybe I just did -- but I wasn't exactly pulling for them because it would have validated me losing my job."

The NHL is a big-time league that can create big-time egos, yet you have kept yours in check despite success in your coaching career. How have you been able to do that?

"I think, for one thing, I know where I've been -- and when you spend 33 years in the minor leagues, for the most part you never take anything for granted. This has been a great gift that has been given to me to be able to coach in this League. I understand how hard it was to get here, so I am hoping I work hard enough to stay here for as long as they allow me to.

"I miss [Washington], but I also love new adventures. This is a great new adventure [in Anaheim] that hopefully we can build into something when we get back to playing."
-- Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau

"You know what? I take everything in and everything I see or get done and I'm allowed to do, I appreciate it. I don't take anything like, 'I'm this guy now, I should be doing this.' I was just telling my 14-year-old the other day while driving him to school, obviously he would love to be a hockey player and I said, 'I'm so lucky that I'm one of 30 people in the world that have this job.' Sometimes you hit yourself and just say, 'Thirty people in the entire world have this job and I want to do whatever I have to do to keep it.' If it means watching video of five years ago to make myself better when nothing is going on, that's what I am going to do."

You probably hear about your small role in "Slap Shot" all the time, but I have to ask: What do you think of when that movie is on or someone brings it up to you?

"You know what, the thoughts are -- and somebody asked me about it yesterday; it comes up once a week -- I had such a miniscule role that it's funny how it has lasted over time like this. But the movie was made 30-plus years ago, and I can't believe it's still going. It is the hockey movie that really was made for a lot of fun with a top-notch superstar [Paul Newman] as the head guy and even a top-notch director [George Roy Hill] who had just finished directing 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' at the time. It was a mainstream movie, and to have my name associated with it is a really special thing."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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