The Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night snapped their seven-game losing streak, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 at Honda Center. Unfortunately for Anaheim, it was just their third win in their last 19 games, which was enough to get the most successful coach in franchise history, Randy Carlyle, fired. Bruce Boudreau, who was fired by the Washington Capitals on Monday, takes over in Anaheim.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray in a statement on Wednesday night. "Randy is a terrific head coach, and did a tremendous job for us for six-plus seasons. We thank him greatly for his hard work and dedication to our franchise, not the least of which was a Stanley Cup championship. At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed. Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership."
Anaheim is currently 7-13-4, at 18 points, in 14th place in a 15-team Western Conference. They are currently 10 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth and final playoff spot. Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks were the eighth seed with 97 points; for Anaheim to reach that goal, they would need 79 points over their final 58 games, roughly a .681 winning percentage.
Boudreau was 201-88-40 in parts of five seasons in Washington D.C., a .672 winning percentage. His Capitals won the President's Trophy in 2009-2010 with 121 points. Washington was off to a 12-9-1 start this season, but Boudreau was let go after a slump that saw the Capitals lose six of eight and eight of 11 games.
As Chris at Anaheim Calling wrote, a change was needed:
The Ducks are currently 29th in the league in goals per game, they need a coach who will motivate/allow/inspire them to create more offense. Boudreau did exactly that in Washington, letting the reins off their forwards and turning them into a goal scoring machine. It backfired on him and cost him his job when he tried to pull them back in. Perhaps with a team that has been more restrained for the past six years or so, and with lessons learned, the change won't be as drastic in Anaheim, but they'll almost certainly become a more offensively minded group.
Carlyle had a 273-182-61 record in parts of seven seasons in Anaheim, a .588 winning percentage. He led the club to their only Stanley Cup Championship, in 2007, and made the playoffs in five of his six full seasons with the Ducks.
To discuss Boudreau, Carlyle and the Ducks, go to Anaheim Calling.