What do you take from this season?
You take away all the positives and you can’t wait to get going again, and not let what happened in the beginning happen again. At one stage, I think we were 13-22, 13 games after I had taken over. That was just too big of a hill to climb for the rest of the year. But if we start out 22-13 or something like that, it will make it a lot easier. After seeing what the team did in January and February, do you feel like it has the potential to get back into the postseason?
We will get back there. I firmly believe that. When you have a top goaltender, when you have a couple young defenseman you can build around, and three or four of the best forwards in the NHL, there is a core you can build around right there. We have all of those things. When I took the job, I looked at that part very closely. I didn’t know what else we had, but I knew we had a core that was young enough and we could build around them for years to come. That’s what I see and that’s what I look forward to.
We will get back there. I firmly believe that. When you have the core of a top goaltender, when you have a couple young defensemen you can build around, and three or four of the best forwards in the NHL, there is a core you can build around right there. We have all of those things." - BoudreauWhat changes do you feel need to be made this offseason?
I don’t think there needs to be a whole lot. If we analyze this from January 1 to March 1, we were in the top two teams in the league. I look at that and think, Well, was it a down time for the rest of the league? No, our schedule was tough and we played good teams. We were healthy and we were energized, so we were able to play at that rate. But when you’re fighting an uphill battle, and you can’t afford to lose two or three games in a row, it makes it a lot more stressful. That hurt us a lot. What did you learn about this team this year?
We have tremendous character. You can tell there are guys on this team who have won a Stanley Cup and know what it’s like. There are guys who have won a gold medal at the Olympics, when there was probably more pressure there than anything else. I’ve learned that the guys are willing to listen and do the things that they’re supposed to do, because they want to succeed. That was fairly evident to the coaching staff. What are your expectations of the players this summer?
They all have their own trainers. We want them to work under our scheme, and we will be monitoring them all summer long. When they come to camp, we want them to be prepared to go from the first day. It’s never easy. I think every coach in the world says they want to run a tougher camp, but what I want to do is prepare them for the season. We’re going to be in shape, but it means that systematically and team-wise, we will be structured to know exactly what we’re going to do from the drop of the puck in game 1. You just look at the starts of the teams that I’ve been on. It’s a formula that works and it’s one that’s going to work again. If we have a good start, then we won’t be sitting talking like this at this time next year. Are you already itching to get going again?
I’d like to have one game of golf, and then I’d like to start again. I know how tough it is for me to watch other teams play in the playoffs. It’s a very difficult time. I’ve been lucky enough starting in juniors to be on seven championship teams. When you’ve tasted that, you want it every day. You get spoiled and then find out how difficult it is when that’s taken away. I don’t want that taken away. I want to live in that high-rent area again. They will be reminded about it every day in camp. We’ll have t-shirts or something. We’ll have reasons to remember it, whether it’s video or some other reminder that this isn’t going to happen again.
I’ve been lucky enough starting in juniors to be on seven championship teams. When you’ve tasted that, you want it every day. You get spoiled and then find out how difficult it is when that’s taken away. I don’t want that taken away. I want to live in that high-rent area again. They will be reminded about it every day in camp." - BoudreauWhat are your summer plans?
I’m looking forward to going to Syracuse and seeing a couple of their games. I’ll ask Bob [Murray] if he wants me to see some games. I know my wife will kick me out of the house anyhow, because I start to lose it. I’m pretty well born to be a hockey guy, and that’s what makes me work. Her to-do list is for me to get out of the house. Otherwise I just follow her around and it drives her nuts. If I’m at home for more than a day, I’m like a whipped puppy just following her around and going, “What are you doing, what are you doing?” She hates that. She’ll sit there and say, “Is there not a game of golf you can play somewhere?” She’s the only wife I know that wants you to go out and play golf. I’m lucky that way. How have you adjusted to being in Anaheim?
It’s a fabulous place to be. I think we’re all lucky and I think the players don’t even realize how lucky they are to be here. It’s a tremendous place. What I want to do is make everyone understand this is also a great hockey town. I want to not only take the team to a Stanley Cup, but I want to be able to grow the game while I’m here. That’s important to me because I think hockey is the best game in the world, and I think the only reason people don’t know it is because they haven’t either come to a game or haven’t been exposed to it. Hopefully we can do that.