In this week's edition of Bruce Bites, Wild.com's Dan Myers sits down with Wild coach Bruce Boudreau to talk about his newest players, heading back to the nation's capital and who would win a Royal Rumble among the 30 NHL head coaches:
Dan Myers: It's still early, but what are your initial impressions of newcomers Martin Hanzal and Ryan White?
Bruce Boudreau: It certainly gives me a lot of confidence in putting all four lines out, now that everybody is back and with them. First impressions: Marty is very good defensively. Not very fleet of foot, but very responsible. He's a lot like a Mikko [Koivu] player. White is a lot smarter than I thought he would be. He's got good hockey sense and he'll play the physical game if we need the physical game.
DM: I've asked the players what it means to them when the GM goes out at the deadline and adds reinforcements to the roster. As a coach, what does it mean to you?
BB: As coaches, we talk to the GM all the time. We think we have a good team here and we're not doing it with smoke and mirrors. All year long, we've thought, if we could improve our forward group a little bit, we might have a chance. So [Chuck Fletcher] went out and did it and got it and we paid a good price for it, but at the same time, I think we upgraded our team.
DM: You will head back to Washington next week, a place you've certainly been to a few times since you coached there. Is there still something special about going back to a place that gave you your first crack at being an NHL head coach?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. Love the city, love the people there and they've always had a great team. They still have an awful lot of players that I coached there, so it's always nice to go back. I mean, it's not nice to go in there and play them in that building because they're so tough to beat, but it's always nice to go back there and see the people that are friends of yours.
DM: Will it be extra fun this time knowing that both clubs are among the best in the NHL?
BB: I think it might be an important game when we play them. We have them twice this month. Right now, not that it's the Stanley Cup, but first overall [in the League] is still up for grabs, and I think that game will have some meaning.
DM: A couple of Twitter-submitted questions for you. You being the movie buff that you are, Brandon Tukua from Mankato wants to know what the dumbest movie you've ever paid to see is.
BB: Well, I came out halfway through the movie "Wagons East!" with John Candy. It was the worst movie I ever saw. And what was I thinking? It was a dumb movie.
DM: Chris Brown, checking in from long distance in Atlanta, Georgia, wants to know who you think would win a Royal Rumble between all 30 NHL head coaches.
BB: All the NHL head coaches? Well, I would sneak [Wild assistant coach] Scott Stevens in there for a day and I would be tagging him in as my partner. He would be my guy. But off the top of my head? If [former Blues coach] Ken Hitchcock was still coaching, I'd be jumping all over him. But I think [Avalanche coach] Jared Bednar would be a pretty tough guy. He's 6-foot-4 and he's still young. He'd be a tough guy to battle.