Maybe Bruce Boudreau secretly loves MSG and can’t show it?
In all of his faults, including being a sucker for the sweets treats in life, Bruce Boudreau made a strategic and potentially series-turning mistake; underestimating his opponent.
We all know the comments Boudreau made following the Game 3 loss. He trashed the Garden; the sacred home of the Rangers. The place isn’t loud. The locker rooms are terrible. The benches are terrible. The only thing that is worse than anything mentioned is the Washington head coaches’ girth. While you can make the case some of his comments have some validity to them, the fact of the matter is the Capitals’ head coach went out of his way, unprovoked, to criticize MSG.
Coming in to Game 3, Boudreau’s Capitals had a firm 2-0 lead on the series and showed no signs of letting the Rangers in. Washington held New York to just 1 goal in the 2 previous games. The Capitals knew the 1st game at Madison Square Garden would be a tough one to play let alone win. In his rant, Boudreau did mention the Garden’s sterling reputation preceding itself. The Black and Blueshirts the Garden Faithful have come to love this year would not let the Capitals come in to their building and take a 3-0 series lead.
For the Capitals, there was a lot to not like about losing Game 3. Their defensive breakdowns are troublesome as an example. But one thing that shouldn’t have been discussed was the condition or the volume of the place their playing in.
I think Bruce Boudreau had done a major disservice to his team. Rather than being focused on Game 4 and attempting to go back to the “boisterous” Verizon Center with a 3-1 series lead, he’d rather converse about things that don’t matter at all. And if the coach is worrying about fitting into the Garden’s horrible benches then what are his players focusing on? Tee times? The coach is a reflection of his team, the representative if you will, and not having them focused on winning games should be alarming to Capitals’ fans. Bruce, maybe it’s that lack of focus that cost you the playoffs last season.
On the flip side, you have to appreciate John Tortorella not even batting an eye lash at Boudreau’s comments. Here’s what he had to say about the matter in Larry Brooks‘ article today.
“We haven’t really thought too much about locker rooms, how loud it is,” Tortorella said Monday on ESPN 1050 Radio . “I’m not even sure what he’s trying to say there.
“We’re just concerned with trying to be the best we can be and play the right way. Now, I will say the fans gave us a tremendous lift last night.”
Say what you will about Torts, but his head & his focus are exactly where it should be; the next game. His post-game press conference antics may bother a lot of you. You might even point out his famous water bottle incident from 2009 as an argument against him. All valid, but that was 2 years ago and so far in this year’s playoffs Torts has been spot on with his team.
With Game 4 coming tomorrow night, and with this ammunition graciously provided to us, this is the opportunity for the Garden to show how loud it can really get and lift their Blueshirts immensely. And if the Rangers can take Game 4 as well and tie the series up, the pressure shifts right to the Capitals. Thoughts of past series failures will begin to creep to the front of their minds. Rangers’ fans, this is your chance to make your mark on this series. Show the Capitals why you’re considered some of the best sports fans around. It’s what Bruce Boudreau would want.
And finally, to end this post, a great picture courtesy of the The New York Rangers Blog.