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Bruce Bites: Boudreau answers your questions

Wild coach opines on some of the toughest teams he's coached, what makes a good NHL coach and the Oscar buzz surrounding 'A Star Is Born'

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

In the latest edition of Bruce Bites,'s Dan Myers sits down with coach Bruce Boudreau to ask your questions submitted on Twitter:

Tweet from @bobstas: What was the meanest / toughest NHL team he (Bruce) has ever coached?

Bruce Boudreau: We always had a lot of toughness in Washington; when you have John Erskine and Donald Brashear in the lineup and Matt Bradley that was tough, but at the same time, I think we led the league in fighting majors once or twice when I was in Anaheim. And when you're playing out west, it's a lot more physical than it is in the East. 

Dan Myers: Those aren't the names you remember when you talk about some of those high-flying Washington teams you coached:

BB: Yeah, we had Ovi and Backstrom but John Erksine and Donald Brashear, those guys were pretty big and mean.

DM: Although, even Ovechkin isn't one to shy away from some of that stuff.

BB: No, he's a solid 230. But we didn't play as physical a game as we did in Anaheim. We used to make fun of it when I got here. [Former Wild GM] Chuck [Fletcher] would about the size of our team differential coming from Washington and Anaheim.

Tweet from @zaudtkek: What makes a good coach in the NHL #BruceBites

BB: I think most everybody pays attention to the details and knows the game and knows what we're supposed to do. What I think makes a good coach is how you interact with the players. The communication with the players and making them want to go through a wall for you, for the coach, knowing that the coach cares about them and they care about the coach. That's sort of the motto I've lived by, I don't know if that means I'm a good coach or a bad coach, but it's the motto I've lived by. If I'm good to them and treat them fair and am honest, and they know I'm trying to win as much as anybody, then they will do the same in kind. We all do the same stuff; it's gotta be those intangibles that make the difference.

Tweet from @sorr0504: #BruceBites When you say win the week is it point totals like 4 out of 6 or how do you measure it?

BB: By points, so if we won the first game and tied the second game and tied the third game, we'd have four out of six points. So that to me is winning the week. We want to, at the worst-case scenario, get 50 percent of our points. So last week, we got six out of eight points, so we won the week. The week before that, we got three out of four points, so we won that week. The first week, we got one out of four, so that's a loss. 

DM: That's something you pay a lot of attention to.

BB: Well, the reason I pay a lot of attention to it is because it's short-term goals. I've been behind where coaches have said, "We've gotta win nine of the next 10," and that's tough. But if you just say, "Just win two out of three," if you can do that, you're usually pretty successful.

Tweet from @mnbowhntr: #BruceBites Do you think Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper will win an Oscar for A Star is Born?

BB: I haven't seen it. I've seen the original (1954), and I've seen the Kris Kristofferson one (1976). 

DM: Even though you haven't seen it, you're a movie guy. Do you think either one of them will win an Oscar?

BB: I think they will be nominated for sure, just because of the hype. And anytime someone comes out of their own element like Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper becomes a singer, they usually have a good chance to be nominated, as Robert Duvall was nominated as a singer ("Tender Mercies" in 1984), and Jeff Bridges was nominated as a singer ("Crazy Heart" in 2010) and neither one of them is a singer. So was Joaquin Phoenix for "Walk the Line." So I think at least one of them will, sure.

DM: You gotta respect an actor like Cooper who spent months and months learning how to sing for one part though.

BB: Oh yeah. Actors, to me, are incredible, how when they get into a part, they put themselves into that role. Sometimes it takes months to get into that role, so I respect the heck out of them.

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