Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau and Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin have blogged for The Times occasionally throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. Today, Boudreau gives his general thoughts on the Kings' Stanley Cup victory Monday over the New Jersey Devils.
As nice as it was for the Devils to make it into a series, you had to believe that the Kings were going to win it in the end. Hats off to them. Throughout the entire postseason, when push came to shove, one of their big boys came through. That’s why you have guys making big money. If it wasn’t Anze Kopitar, it was Dustin Brown. If it wasn’t Brown, it was Jonathan Quick, and so on.... In the times they needed that big “zing,” that big play or that big goal, their big players came through. That’s the reason they won. Couple that with their role players being very good and the Kings became a pretty good team at the right time.
New Jersey battled back, though -- they’ve got a lot of character and pride over there. Guys like Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias, who have won Cups before, and Zach Parise, who is obviously a really great player -- you knew they wouldn’t give up. You knew they had a lot of pride. They just needed to win that one game and I thought if they won that one game, they’d make a series of it -- and they did. They had a great playoff run and they came out of the second-toughest division in the league.
Overall, I thought it was a very successful two months of playoff hockey. It would have been an awful lot more exciting if the Ducks were in it, that’s for sure. And that’s exactly what we’re looking forward to next year. I think in the first round, the most exciting thing was the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh series. It had every element of what a hockey fan wants. The surprise to most people was L.A. beating Vancouver, but we knew that L.A. had a good team and the capabilities were there. After the first round, it became a really close checking game across the board. I think the league has got to be overall quite happy with the way everything worked out.
I already can’t wait to get back on the ice next year. I think the rivalry against the Kings increases tremendously…. I can’t wait to play them. Both organizations have won a Stanley Cup now, and they’ve got the latest one. So I think every game next year is going to be exciting. The battle of California is really on right now. Whether it’s us, San Jose or L.A., I think when those teams are playing each other, you are going to see great games.
There’s a lot of entertainment coming your way next year, I can guarantee that. Have a great summer and we’ll see you very soon!