The Flames and Bruce Boudreau would be a match made in heaven

Following their first-round ouster at the hands of the Nashville Predators, the Anaheim Ducks announced today that they’ve parted ways with head coach Bruce Boudreau. The 61-year-old native of Toronto immediately becomes one of the most sought-after free agent coaches on the market, with the Ottawa Senators thought to be a potential suitor.

While the Calgary Flames do currently have Bob Hartley under contract for one more season as head coach, we had a thought: Bruce Boudreau and the Flames would be a perfect fit going forward.

WHY BOUDREAU FOR THE FLAMES?

Bruce Boudreau is a coach that has a long record of regular season success. He coached the Washington Capitals for the better part of four seasons and led them to four division titles. Then he moved onto Anaheim and led the Ducks to four division titles. The guy knows how to win.

Moreover, in addition to having standings success, his teams’ success usually comes “the right way”: through playing intelligent, possession-driven hockey. Want some examples?

Washington was a 49.2% CorsiFor team in 2006-07, prior to Boudreau’s arrival. During his four mostly-full seasons as head coach the team went 55.3%, 54.5%, 53.5% and 51.6%. The season where he departed (2011-12) and the season after (2012-13)? 48.0% and 49.8%. That’s a pretty big difference.

boudreau wsh

See if you can spot the part where Boudreau got fired (via Corsica).

How about Anaheim? In 2010-11, prior to his arrival, they were 44.4% CorsiFor. The next four seasons? 47.7%, 49.3%, 51.3% and 52.2%.

bourdeau ana

And when he got hired (Corsica).

His teams have also consistently improved in shots for per game and in faceoffs during his tenures. The guy can make a difference. He’s shown in two stops that he can help good teams become really good (borderline great) teams, and he’s one of the winningest coaches in recent NHL history.

Oh, and the Flames had one of the best offensive teams in hockey last season but suffered on special teams and with their defensive game.

WHY NOT HARTLEY?

We’ve written a bunch about this lately, notably when I finished the regular season off by sharing my thoughts on why the Flames need a new coach for next season.

But our own Mike Fail waxed poetic on this, and you should probably read his fantastic contribution to this:

The gap between average coach to good coach is so razor thin in this
league. Not only that, the incestuous nature of the NHL currently
muddies perceptions of perceived impact versus actual impact. Along with
that, you can factor in the narratives that travel with every coach,
every player, and every person in management which leads us to the age
old question of:

Does this person provide a measurable or discernible impact in their role?

That’s
the first and foremost question you need to ask as a fan, as media, as
someone articulating an opinion. And it’s no more prominent in player
analysis than coaching itself. With that comes the onslaught of inputs
and outputs to try and assess whether or not someone like Bruce Boudreau
is either marginally better or exponentially better than a cohort like
Bob Hartley.

What this shows is, if anything, based on the Anaheim
Ducks’ miserable start when they were maligned with poor luck and
various other issues is that adapting can lead to success. Even if they
Ducks fell in the first round by way of various other factors, you
cannot deny in a similar situation to Mike Johnson / Mike Sullivan in
Pittsburgh that this is an impressive story of the season.

Bruce
Boudreau fought off the specter of termination during the regular season
to go on an impressive run. In his own right, acknowledging that the
team he is supporting and coaching has issues, Boudreau with his coaching
staff acknowledged what was happening and solved it.

(Ryan again: want a stark example of this? Anaheim came into Calgary on December 29 as the NHL’s second-worst team. Everyone was openly discussing Boudreau’s imminent firing. The Ducks played a low-event game, swatting down stretch passes and grinding out a win. Hartley had no strategic answer for this tactic. From then on, the Ducks become one of the hottest teams in hockey, while the Flames went ice-cold.)

This isn’t a
slight at Hartley, but we know first hand based on several years of
inability to solve problems at times that this is a measurable
difference between the two coaches. Of course, it’s even further
magnified with Hartley’s quotes about needing to block more shots.

Which
is missing the point completely and the maladies that affect this
Calgary Flames team. If you cannot effectively – under the guise of your
role, with the support of others around you, and with whatever data
around – solve a problem then that in its own right is a problem.

Assessing
the roster given to you, finding out all the strengths that make your
player successful in their own right, adapting to the weaknesses that
your roster has, and embracing a progressive approach to the game is
what makes a coach successful. 

And by no means does that absolve
Boudreau of at times being stubborn, but his track record shows he’s
able to make things happen even in some of the trickiest situations with
player personnel. An area of value that Calgary so desperately needs.

(Ryan again: let’s be blunt. There’s no freaking way that a team with the personnel the Flames have should have been as bad as they were on the power-play. Or defensively.)

WHY THE FLAMES FOR BOUDREAU?

Here’s a listing of a few players that the Flames have under control for a while:

  • Johnny Gaudreau, one of the NHL’s emerging offensive superstars.
  • Sean Monahan, a burgeoning young two-way center and a strong offensive player in his own right.
  • Mikael Backlund, one of the NHL’s most effective 200-foot forwards (and a strong penalty killer).
  • Michael Frolik, a strong defensive forward and an excellent penalty killer.
  • 19-Year-Old Sam Bennett, a blossoming young offensive forward.
  • Mark Giordano, a regular part of Norris Trophy discussions and one of the league’s best offensive blueliners.
  • T.J. Brodie, the master of the stretch pass and arguably one of the most underrated defenders in hockey.
  • Dougie Hamilton, a big-bodied defender just growing into his offensive talent.

(They have Jon Gillies, Oliver Kylington, Brandon Hickey, Andrew Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson on their way up, plus oodles of draft picks in June’s draft.)

    The Flames have a really interesting, emerging young core group. They have an ownership with deep pockets that has the ability to throw money at problems. They’re in a really passionate hockey market with a building that’s pretty full considering the team wasn’t great this past year.

    Oh, and they’re probably a team that Boudreau knows very well given how often the Ducks have played (and embarrassed) the Flames in recent years.

    BRASS TACKS

    Let’s cut to the chase. We’ve been pretty adamant around here that the Flames need some additional forward depth, a new coach and goaltending help this summer to take a big step forward. The Pribyl signing and the draft lottery might take care of forward depth, but adding Boudreau to the fold would allow that big step forward to potentially become a giant leap forward. He’s an excellent tactical coach who just happened to take the fall for some underachieving players in Anaheim.

    He’d be a marvelous fit in Calgary.

    • StillFlamesFan

      I was thinking the same thing and wondering why Calgary wasn’t on any hockey writer’s list of possible destinations for Boudreau.

      Hartley did ok, but just ok. In addition to being in my view a superior coach, Boudreau’s presence would be a reminder to the players that “ok” isn’t good enough.

    • supra steve

      If Boudreau can be fired after the seasons he’s had with ANA, then yeah, I guess letting Hartley go (after the season the Flames just had) only makes sense. Is BB then, the best man for the job in CGY?

    • cberg

      Nice stats about the regular season. I guess you forgot that the playoffs are not the same, and in that context, Hartley is actually a far better coach than Boudreaux, and is a winner, which is the one and only reason BB got fired.

      Perhaps Brian Burke should suggest the Flames hire another assistant coach and bring in BB to work in tandem with BH? Something to consider, though too many chiefs can spoil the brew.

      • ClayBort

        You are right, the playoffs are not the same. They are much more luck driven. Cups are won on the back of high shooting percentages and save percentages that only exist in small samples and are not a result of coaching.

        Given how he looks when the entire sample is considered, Boudreau is the far superior coach.

        • Boudreau could have played the series perfectly, with going above and beyond in scouting, rolling the perfect match-ups, and perfecting special teams but it can literally be derailed by factors out of his control.

          That being Rinne playing above his regular self, maligned offensive numbers from elite talent, and honest to god luck.

          I mean, everyone acknowledged in the regular season the Ducks’ woes were likely to turn around and they did. I mean Boudreau’s goaltenders past and present in game sevens have god awful SV%s.

          Which isn’t inherently Boudreau’s fault in that extremely small sample. It’s just fodder for the narratives to follow.

        • mattyc

          In fairness, probably just how you said it, but there isn’t really any reason (that I’ve seen/read) to believe the playoffs are any *more* luck driven than the regular season. Just people prescribe extra weight those coin-flips, and therefore extra noise to their evaluations.

      • Wheels

        His game 7 stat is telling, but the teams the Ducks did beat in the playoffs also show it.

        The Ducks beat Dallas (6 year drought prior), Jets (8 year drought), and Flames (6 year drought). When they came up against playoff regulars Nashville, Detroit, LA, and Chicago… no series wins.

    • Stu Cazz

      He is exactly what the Flames need! His coaching on the PP and PK is well documented and he is one of the top tier coaches in the NHL. Hartley’s shelf life is about done…hire Boudreaux now!!

    • OKG

      People want the Flames to play low event hockey? God, no, please. Don’t make the Flames boring just for the sake of regular season success that ends in a game 7 post season loss at home.

          • ClayBort

            If I recall, those Caps teams were the definition of high event hockey.

            Ovi under BB 112 110 109 85 (weird BB was fired when Ovi’s percentages plummeted

            Backstrom under BB 69 88 101 65 (weird BB was fired when Backstrom’s percentages plummeted)

            Green under BB 56 73 76 24 (from the point!) (weird BB was fired when Green’s percentages plummeted)

            Semin under BB 42 79 84 54 (from an enigma!) (weird BB was fired when Semin’s percentages plummeted)

            I think we have different definitions of low event

            • OKG

              Until Boudreau changed their system into a trap team, like he has in Anaheim after starting off as a high event hockey team.

              That’s what he does. He starts with fun teams and then breaks them into trap teams when his job’s on the line.

              You think Hartley couldn’t trap if his job was on the line? He wouldn’t, but he could. I would rather miss the playoffs than play the 2-3 all game

            • OKG

              I mean that he had extremely talented rosters in both Washington and Anaheim, but changed their systems in a desperate attempt to keep his job to trap systems. That’s what he did in both stops. Traps disgust me. Guys like Julien, Sutter, Quenneville, Bylsma have never resorted to a trap. Also he gets outcoached every playoff series.

              If the goal is just to get shot attempts up then Dallas Eakins can get shot attempts up. The goal is to win a cup within your window. First of all Boudreau has failed to win cups in his teams’ contention windows and second the Flames are not in their contention window anyways.

            • The Fall

              FACT: Bob Hartley ‘out-coached’ Willie Desjardins in the playoffs last year.

              And, in the playoffs a team can run up against a hot goalie (Rennie) and/or not get one missed goal (Gelinas) and lose their season. So, ‘luck’ comes into play somewhat more forcefully in the post-season.

              The problem with BB this years was that the Ducks should have put the Preds away in game six and not let it come down to a one game: winner takes all.

            • mattyc

              Bob Hartley ‘out-coaching’ Desjardins in the playoffs is *your opinion*, not a fact. A fact would be “The Flames won in 6 games”. I don’t deny that it’s possible for a coach to out-duel his counterpart, but I’m genuinely curious (and skeptical) with how to decide that without involving a heavy dose of outcome bias. Likewise, I’d tend to agree with you that Hartley handed Desjardins his lunch on line matching in the series last year, but again, that’s my opinion, not some inalienable truth or fact.

              I’m sure the Ducks tried to put the Preds away in game 6. If they didn’t (because they ran into a hot goalie?), doesn’t that just reinforce the idea that what happens in the playoffs isnt’ a very good indicator of who’s a good/bad coach?

            • cberg

              No, my interpretation of what he said is, BB didn’t know why he was winning, and can’t elevate his team’s play come the playoffs so he was always ambushed and taken by surprise when they were heavily-favoured but still consistently lost when it really mattered. Then justified the losses by dumb bad luck, but, hey, there’s always next year.

            • RickT

              Yea, me too.

              Really loved by getting stuffed defensively by teams because our coach can’t adapt good strategies.

              Loved the misuse of Frolik, and Backlund.

              Having Colborne on the PP for 85 minutes without a single point was also enjoyable.

              Not playing Hamilton, who scored most of his points on the PP last year, on the PP was so great!

              This season was purely an enjoyable season. There were zero coach-related frustrations the whole year, definitely not every game.

            • KACaribou

              It’s hilarious that you think you know the difference between using Frolik and Backund properly or misusing them. But you go with your self-important views.

            • Kevin R

              I am in the camp that Hartley starts next season as the head coach of the Calgary Flames. But besides the armchair experts of each & every exact timing of coaching decisions, one thing RickT did point out was that this was a very poor year for this hockey team. I stand by performance & results, I’ll let the analytics crowd hash over what was luck & what was skill & what was probability. Bottom line, if we see the same start as this last year, Hartley needs to be replaced. It will suck because a guy like Boudreau will be gone by then & we’ll have a wasted year with interim coaches. But then, maybe this team plays the way we expected, Tre gets a real goalie & we are in a playoff race come next March. Bottom line, performance next year will force the decision, not because somebody has become available .

            • OKG

              Our possession increased this season. How is it then that this was a very poor year for this hockey team analytically? Last I checked progress is a better measure as a relative than an absolute.

              In fact the final 28 games, this was a 49.5 SA CF% team.

              That’s a pretty big step forward from a 44.3 CF% team a year prior.

            • The final 28 games happened to coincide with a time where Hartley could not play Russell and/or Wideman for 20 minutes a night because they were either traded, injured, or suspended. The possession stats did not increase because of Hartley, but in spite of him. If the team starts performing better when Hartley can’t ice the roster he wants, what does that say about Hartley?

            • DestroDertell

              You would have a point if 1) Hartley didn’t play Russell more at even strength than Giordano and Hamilton before he was injured and 2) Russell and Wideman weren’t replaced internally.

            • OKG

              1) You ignore that players affect their own ice time. Russell taking a long shift due to being unable to clear and change, Giordano needing to conserve some stamina for special teams and generally being older. Most of Russell’s extra 5v5 minutes anyways tended to come playing left side with Brodie, which has little bearing on Hamilton who plays right side. The player cutting into Dougie’s ice time was TJ Brodie. I’ll take that tradeoff.

              2) Wideman was replaced internally by a player who was in the minor leagues all year. Explain to me how Hartley is supposed to play a guy who’s 2000km away in Stockton and had zero NHL experience coming into the season. In fact walk me through the process of telling an assistant captain who you already demoted to playing third pair with Engelland and Smid because of the shiny new toy, how this guy with zero NHL experience is better.

              3) Russell was replaced internally by Engelland who’s worse than Russell offensively, probably not better defensively, and naturally plays the same side of the ice as Russell’s partner Hamilton. Hartley had to split up the Gio-Brodie pairing to make Top 4 Defenseman Engelland “work”. Later Russell was replaced by Jokipakka who… we traded Russell for.

              You also speak as if Russell is not playing huge minutes for the Stars right now. It’s not as Black and White as “bad corsi = bad player” or “better Corsi = Better Player”.

            • DestroDertell

              1) Most of Russell’s extra 5v5 minutes actually came from playing with… Wideman. PK is far more tiring than the PP and Giordano only played a bit more there. Really, Hartley has shown time and time again he gives no damn about balancing defensemen’s icetime to avoid fatigue so I’m not sure where you got that idea.

              2) You tried to make it sound like possession numbers were better we acquired legit second pair defensemen. Wideman was replaced by… Hamilton who found his way to the 1st pp unit where he should’ve always been. Nakladal, the new guy and clearly not one of Hartley’s favorites, wasn’t going to take the top pp minutes.

              3) Jokipakka played most games on the third pair, so no he didn’t replace Russell. If he replaced anyone it’s Wideman’s 5v5 minutes on the 3rd pair.

              4) Yes, it’s as Black and white as “bad corsi = bad Dman” or “better Corsi = Better Dman”. I’d like someone to prove otherwise because trying to not take extreme positions for its own sake doesn’t mean you’re right.

            • Kevin R

              Well each to their own. I went to the games, you can judge success through your tinted glasses & I’ll gauge mine by wins & losses & entertainment value at the games.

            • OKG

              You went to the games… where we were 21-16-4 in the ‘Dome and had 52.8% of the scoring chances while being 4th best in the NHL in terms goalscoring at home (128.. more than Washington, Chicago, Nashville). But you deem we had no success or entertainment value. I guess your definition of entertainment value is 40 foot floaters from bad angles to pad corsi stats?

            • RickT

              Results.

              Nothing self-important. You can tell they are being used effectively when all the metrics are demonstrating positive results. More positive means better usage.

            • MontanaMan

              Wow. I wish you were our head coach Rick T because clearly you have it figured out. Last year Hartley was a hero – this year a bum. Talk about a “what have you done for me lately” crowd. Hartley is a good coach and clearly has had an impact on Gaudreau, Monahan, Brodie and many more of the young Flames. The team got goaltending bad enough to be out of many games this year but that’s hardly the responsibility of Hartley. Is he the best coach in the NHL? No. Does he deserve another year with decent goaltending? Absolutely.

            • RickT

              I was never on the hero bandwagon. He was riding inflated percentages. He won the Jack Adams in the same way that Patrick Roy did. The real best coaches did not win it. The ones who outperformed expectations always win it (and they usually outperform expectations because of the inflated percentages).

              Can you measure the impact that Hartley has had on Gaudreau, Monahan, Brodie, and many more of the young Flames? Can you honestly say that they would not have prospered in at least the same way under any one else? Monahan and Gaudreau are pretty motivated players who even Hartley say are easily coached, because of how willing they are to take everything in and try and hard as they can to constantly improve.

              Brodie was already demonstrating 1st pairing potential under Sutter.

              Some of the goaltending was Hartley’s problem. For how long did he continue to start Hiller when he was demonstrably worse than the other options? How long did he continue to hose Ortio?

              When did he adapt his plan for the stretch pass? When any team with an above-average coach scouts the team and learns that they just need to mess up that pass… He continued to try and force it.

              Look at the list of mine you quoted, and refute the actual points without building strawmen.

    • DestroDertell

      Dear god no. Boudreau was a great coach until his team was stone-walled by Halak in the 2010 playoff. Then he decided killing his great offense for minimal defensive gains was a fantastic idea.

      The Ducks’ corsi improved after he was hired because 1) his predecessor was Randy Carlyle and 2) the roster got even more stacked.

      • mattyc

        Yeah – the corsi bumps definitely also depend on who the other coaches were. Carlyle was legendarily bad for possession, and Hunter sucked too, which make Boudreau seem a lot better by comparison.

        • OKG

          Carlyle was legendarily bad for possession? Score-adjusted CF%:

          2006 Ducks – 53.8

          2007 Ducks – 54.5

          2008 Ducks – 51.3

          2009 Ducks – 51.2

          If that’s “legendarily bad” I hope the Flames become “Legendarily bad” for the next four years.

          Or are we supposed to only cherry-pick down years with horrible, rebuilding or otherwise poorly-constructed rosters?

      • Can you explain this a little more? This is not sarcasm but can’t any coach have a problem when they run into a hot goalie? SHouldn’t a team change tactics when that happens?

        It just seems like on paper, Boudreau is a much better coach than Hartley when looking at possession and winning %. True he had some good teams but Hartley did as well (besides the Flames).

        • OKG

          Uh, Hartley is the only coach in Atlanta Thrashers history to make the playoffs. He only coached three out of that franchise’ twelve season history. Even factoring in their stay in Winnipeg, they’ve only made the playoffs two times in seventeen seasons.

          He came into a Calgary team that was already declining before he got here. He didn’t get to even have a training camp his first year here, and the franchise players were a pending UFA who was a lock to be traded at the deadline, and a goalie who decided he was going to retire (but not before having the most injury prone season of his career).

          His second year here, Matt Stajan was the #1 center of this team.

          His third year here, he made the playoffs with a blue line that depended on Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, and Deryk Engelland.

          Maybe, just maybe, Hartley has made-do with what he’s had which isn’t very much? I agree that this previous season there were things he could have done differently, Wideman vs Hamilton, PK, etc. But anyone who watched last season could have told you the issues were deeper rooted than that, when Giordano was taking untimely penalties, or Hiller couldn’t stop a damn point shot if there was a hair of traffic in front, and Treliving waived Paul Byron.

          I agree that the Flames’ possession stats could be inflated but that is no guarantee of the end goal especially if it means faking it by playing a style that doesn’t suit the personnel. The Hurricanes and Maple Leafs also had great possession stats. They were still awful hockey teams.

          • or maybe just maybe he made the playoffs because 7 guys on the roster had career years and the Flames rode an alarmingly high rate of luck. ON top of which several players out shot their career high shooting percentages by like 7%.

            Yeah, that was all on Hartley. lel

            • OKG

              “Because 7 guys had career years” is not independant of Hartley. You don’t hear about guys having “career years” under Brent Sutter or Dave Tippett, do you? Where are the career years on Boudreau’s Ducks (well, other than the career years, because the Ducks are a good team so they’re allowed to have career years)

              “an alarmingly high rate of luck” is hilarious especially when it pertains to offense. Our team this season scored a whopping eight less goals than last, while having zero power play luck for almost two full months and scoring five less empty-netters, and trading Hudler away at the deadline. OFenSH% dropped from 7.5 (2nd) in a season we were 5th-best in empty-netters with 12 to 7.0 (7th) in a season we were 8th last in empty-netters with 7, empty-netters being a score-effects driven stat. Someone else can do the math but outside of empty-netters our SH% did not actually change much relative to the league.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      He alienates his superstars. Getzlaf and Perry are over the moon over his firing. Ovi texted “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. HAHAHA!!!”

      How come BB’s name is always an afterthought when talk of who should coach Canada’s best either at the Olympics or the World Series of Hockey this fall? Because he alienates his superstars.

      Can’t wait for him to go to Ottawa and “turn things around.”

    • IMO special teams and goalies on hot streaks are what get teams deep in the playoffs, and Boudreau’s special teams are the stuff of legend. Anaheim’s PK was running at over 95% this post season… and then they ran into a hot goalie and lost in 7. It happens to very good teams every year, and that’s how the NHL wants it because it creates parity and encourages smaller markets to grow, but give Boudreau enough of a sample size and he’s going to put these ‘not a good playoff coach’ indictments to rest.

    • T&A4Flames

      Hell no! Do we really want to see the exciting, offensive approach to ho key we’ve watched develop over the last few years suddenly become a D first team…again?! Did we not get enough of this with Sutter’s? Keep the the Spruce Bruce outta’ CGY because she ain’t gonna fly.

        • T&A4Flames

          I didn’t say Darryl was a bad coach, not at all. But defence has always been his priority. BB coaches a boring style and has a less than stellar playoff record when you consider the teams he coached. Never been to the finals with WAS or ANA. What do you think he’ll do with our young team?

          • McRib

            Darryl primarily coached defense because let’s face it outside of Iginla what other forwards did he have to work with in Calgary?!?!? Hahaha. The year we went to the Stanley Cup final we didn’t have another forward outside of Iginla to break 50 points. Only “31 year old” Craig Conroy and “I get five breakaways a game and can’t score on any” Shaun Donovan broke 40 points. Honestly Shaun Donovan’s best statistical seasons outside of that year throughout his career were 23 points and 20 points. Still to this day I can’t understand how that team went to the final (Iginla & Kipper are gods is why!!! But still how did two player do that? We honesty beat the three best teams in the league getting out of west). By comparison the Flames had seven players this year break 40 points (Hudler would have been eight).

    • jakethesnail

      Boudreau took NHL teams to the Playoffs countless times. In Washington he never made it past the first round 5 times and to the second round only once, then out of the playoffs. He and Ovechkin didn’t see eye to eye. Fired mid-season.

      With Anaheim 4 times in the playoffs, once to 3 round and that is it! His record is worse than the deposed coach of the Sharks (now with the oilers) for playoff success.
      \

      His trap style is boring hockey to boot.

    • If you want to stand by a coach who took 70% of the season to stick Backlund and Frolik on the PK together.. then go for it.

      If you want to stand by a coach who played Colborne on the 2nd PP unit all season and never benched him early when he didnt goto the net and use his size to create traffic… then go for it.

      If you want a coach whose team is bottom 3 in the league in powerplay, penalty kill, and shots against per 60. Then go for it stand by that coach.

      You can score as many goals as you like and play as open a game of hockey as you like as long as you have the talent to always outscore your opponents. The Flames don’t have that talent so playing that style makes no logical sense whatsoever. You can claim that it’s not the coaches fault the players he has to work with don’t give him the opporunity to play the style he wants to. That’s a lame excuse for me. His job as the coach is to coach the players he has in the best way possible to maximize the talent he has. Not playing Backlund and Frolik on the Penalty Kill. Not using Frolik when he’s your best player on the PP wing is just plain bad coaching imho.

      • McRib

        If you want to stand by a coach who didn’t play Dougie Hamilton (one of the most productive Power Play Defenseman in the NHL the last two seasons) on the power play for more than the first two months of the season then go for it. Not to mention he didn’t get first unit time until the last two months of the year.

        He also hardly played Frolik on the PP all year, who has been fantastic throughout his career in that aspect. Hartley is why our Specials Teams were among the worst in the league.

    • supra steve

      Dallas wins game one, Russell now has 6 games played…one more and he will have played at least half of the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. Go Stars.

      • McRib

        Is that a requirement that he has to play half the games I forget? Can’t believe they potentially gave up a 1st Rounder for a player that isn’t playing everyday for them, is he injured? He didn’t seem to be flopping around as much on the ice (well at least on purpose to block shots). Clearly he is getting better coaching in Dallas, i.e. STOP DOING THAT MAN!!! .

        NHL Teams that win first game of series are 8-0 this year so far. Go Stars Go. Although I must say picking 26-30 is essentially the same as picking 26-50 this year, but first rounders do have more appeal if we wanted to use it to trade up. Can’t hurt.

      • KACaribou

        Boy the Stars must be stupid hey? Most people on FN were citing Russell as one of the worst D-men in the entire league all season; yet a successful playoff team thinks he’s great and is playing him a ton. FN wrong? Nah!, can’t be. Hahahahaha!

    • JumpJet

      I’m surprised by the number of commenters who don’t want Boudreau because of the style of hockey he coaches. Sure Hartley’s style is fun to watch, but it obviously isn’t working. I would rather my favourite team consistently win, regardless of their style.

    • Canrock 78

      Maybe we should be targeting one of the ducks assistant coaches. Replace Gelinas, was he not our special teams coach? I remember Bruce B stating the assistant coaches had tweaked their systems because they could not score.

      This may also put a replacement for BH in house.

    • freethe flames

      In less than 12 hours we will know which team drafts in which position. Then we can discuss what the Flames can do with that pick. Here’s hoping that luck is with us. Any of the top 3 forwards are probably NHL ready, the rest of the top 8 are probably one year away.

    • KACaribou

      Considering Pike, nor anyone else here, have ever been in the dressing room or invited to attend practices, or sat on the bench during games, these statements are unfounded, ridiculous, and irresponsible nonsense.

      Nobody here has a clue if Hartley is a good coach, or an excellent coach and the same with Boudreau. What a laugh reading some of these statements.

      Pike, you never fail to throw around your unfounded arguments recklessly, and you’ve done it again.

      I will put my trust in hockey people who work for the Flames.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        Well said. Whenever the Flames were losing this year all I heard about was the stretch pass on this site.when they won you never heard a peep about it. This was a learning curve year for the Flames and to get rid of Hartley for another coach who is “perceived” by fans that he can’t get past the first round is ridiculous,and you would never hear the end of it next year.

        • KACaribou

          The stretch pass is like throwing a long bomb in football, high risk – high reward. But if you went on the crazy-ass statements here, you’d think Hartley was the only coach in the NHL implementing such.

      • RickT

        This may be the most inane argument about coaches.

        A coach’s job is based on results. Right? Winning, losing, special teams ability, etc, etc.

        So, by measuring results you should be able to get a pretty good idea. Comparing the results to previous years, predictions, and other teams you can get a pretty good snapshot of how effective a coach is.

        I know, for example, that I prefer a coach with a high winning percentage. If I’m just looking at one result, it’s that. Boudreau has that. Q has it. Hitch has it. Compare Hartley to other coaches around the league and it does not matter what he’s like in the room.

        As a matter of fact, who cares what he’s like in the room.

        Most players do not like Hitch, but they like winning. Who cares what he’s like in the room? He gets the results.

        Your argument is irresponsible. It does not hold up by any measure of anything.

        Only the people in the room can determine if a coach is good…

        No, results do.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      All this conversation is for not. I don’t think Hartley will be going anywhere and Boudreau is not coming to Calgary as an assistant coach.

    • freethe flames

      Personally I have no problem with Hartley starting the season as the head coach, but the issue is BT must find a way to remove some of his security blanket vets so that younger players who earn a spot are given a chance. If Hartley is let go I would like to see a fresh face in the NHL. Someone who can work with the young players but have the respect of the vets. I do not have a name for this job but surely there must be someone in the AHL, CHL or even the NCAA that could fit the bill.

    • deantheraven

      Nope. I know lots of folks around here question Hartley’s choices, systems,value… But he’s won more series and more championships than Gabby, whose ring total is exactly zero. Boudreau has proven he can take a good team to great regular season numbers but I say no, because, game sevens.