The Nashville Predators are heading to the second round, Boudreau has no luck in Game 7s, Bishop falls flat in Game 1, and more in four things we learned in the NHL.
If this is truly the end of the Bruce Boudreau’s tenure with the Anaheim Ducks then it shouldn’t be too long before the one-time Jack Adams Award winner has his next gig lined up.
The Nashville Predators edged the Ducks 2-1 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night. It was the Predators’ first Game 7 in franchise history. For Boudreau, it was a familiar series-ending scene.
With the Ducks’ falling to the Predators, Boudreau has lost seven of eight Game 7s that he’s coached in. All seven losses have come on home ice, to boot. It’s a remarkably unfortunate run for a man who’s coached his team’s to eight division titles in nine seasons behind an NHL bench. The lone season Boudreau failed to capture a division title was the 2011-12 campaign when he lost his job in Washington and finished the season with the Ducks.
Anaheim deserved better. It owned the Predators by the possession count — 51 shot attempts to 34 at 5-on-5 (via war-on-ice.com) — but it’s the goals that matter in Game 7 and puck luck was not the Ducks’ friend on this night.
All eyes will be on Boudreau as Anaheim heads into the summer. Does Ducks general manager Bob Murray judge Boudreau on a seven-game series, or does he look at the body of work?
There were calls for Boudreau’s head when the Ducks opened the season 1-7-2 and their offence failed to produce on a nightly basis. The Ducks turned it around under Boudreau to capture their fourth straight Pacific Division title.
With a coaching vacancy in Ottawa and John Torchetti wearing the interim tag with the Minnesota Wild, Boudreau shouldn’t have to wait too long for his next challenge. He has a track record of success, but those Game 7 performances loom large.
So now we wait.
Bishop named Vezina finalist, bottoms out in Game 1
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy Wednesday night along with the Washington Capitals’ Braden Holtby and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.
Bishop’s performance in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders was not Vezina-like. It was a tough night for the now two-time finalist.
Bishop was yanked from the Lightning’s 5-3 loss just under midway through the second period after surrendering four goals on 13 shots. Travis Hamonic scored to pull the Islanders even at 1-1 at 5:44 of the first period and it was not the type of goal we’ve become accustomed to seeing Bishop give up.
Hamonic’s goal was the first of four unanswered for the Islanders, which culminated with John Tavares ending Bishop’s evening with a power-play marker at 8:59 of the second period.
Backup Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all eight shots he saw in relief of Bishop.
Speaking of the Vezina Trophy, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford tops the list of snub candidates.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion enjoyed a fantastic 2015-16 season, finishing with a .924 save percentage and 2.37 goals-against average to go along with a 35-18-4 record. The Florida Panthers’ Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils also warrant some consideration among the snubbed.
Capuano is hockey tough
Scary moment in Game 1 between the Islanders and Lightning when New York coach Jack Capuano was hit in the face with a deflected puck during the third period.
Capuano was tended to immediately by the Islanders training staff and made his way to the dressing room.
Capuano returned to the bench several minutes later with his nose a little banged up. Assistant Doug Weight served as head coach during Capuano’s brief absence.