It's been over a month since Bruce Boudreau was hired as the Anaheim Ducks' coach, and he's getting a pretty good feel for his team. He's learned just how gifted a passer Ryan Getzlaf can be. He's learned that Corey Perry is a lot taller than he thought he was and that his release is tremendous. He sees loads of skill in Bobby Ryan and shades of Mike Green in Cam Fowler.
When we spoke on Friday, I asked Boudreau how he's going to approach the rest of the season now that he's settling in with the Ducks, even as things remain unsettled around him. His general manager, Bob Murray, had just made the public declaration that all but two players were untouchable. His team was 20 points out of a playoff spot.
"With 44 games left you don't sit there and say, 'Let's fold the tent,'" Boudreau said. "What you do is you start by winning one game. You try to win and win and win. Hopefully you look up and you're 16 [points] out, you're 12 out ... it gives them hope. That's all you can do."
The Ducks showed signs this weekend that the hope is returning. They won two games by getting big production from the star players they depend on. The reality is that this team isn't going to make the playoffs. They dug too big a hole, and the Western Conference is just too good for a team to overcome that kind of start.
To read more from Craig on the tough decisions facing Anaheim, become an Insider today.