Bruce Boudreau: Hypocrite, Or Really, Really Big Hypocrite?

If we know one thing about Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, it’s that the man will absolutely not tolerate dirty plays in the NHL. Boudreau was pissed about Daniel Carcillo punching Matt Bradley in the Caps/Flyers game this past Saturday, delivering this strongly-worded quote:

“[Bradley] might have been ready, but as he was dropping his gloves, Carcillo was already cold cocked and ready to throw them. He knew as soon as Bradley was ready to accept his challenge, the punch was there and [Bradley]’s gloves and hands were still down [at his waist].

“No matter how you cut it — and it’s not like this guy is in his first year and first chance doing it — whether it is in this league or in the American League where I saw him for two years, he was just as big an idiot there. It is just a dirty play.”

“That’s two in two nights and we’re trying to get that crap out of the game…”

Here here! Bruce Boudreau, you are a man of principles! You would never defend a player for multiple dirty, injury-threatening, game misconduct-worthy incidents within a short timespan!

Just for the hell of it, let’s take a look at what Boudreau had to say after the NHL suspended Alex Ovechkin two games for his knee-to-knee hit on Carolina’s Tim Gleason last week:

“I don’t want him to change the way he plays at all, either,” Boudreau said. “When I said reckless, I was using the term in fear of him getting hurt, not him hurting anybody else. He’s got to be him, so I don’t want him to change. That’s what makes him one of three things: one of the best players in the world, one of the best personalities in sport, and it’s the reason you pay to watch.”

Asked if he agreed with the suspension, the coach said: “Maybe I would have made a different decision.”

“He made a play that I thought you could compare it to an awful lot of plays that have happened so far this year,” Boudreau said. “Like (general manager George McPhee) told me, it was a good hockey play that went wrong.”

To Summarize Bruce Boudreau’s positions:

A) Daniel Carcillo punching Matt Bradley before he was ready to fight was a dirty, dangerous play. Carcillo has been in the league for years and this isn’t the first time Carcillo has done something like this, so he should be disciplined likewise. This crap doesn’t belong in the game.

B) Alex Ovechkin’s knee-to-knee hit on Tim Gleason was because Ovechkin is one of the best players in the world, and it’s fortunate that Ovechkin didn’t get hurt on the play. It was a “good hockey play gone wrong” — meaning, skating towards Gleason was a good hockey play but sticking a knee out and dangerously hitting him with it was the ‘went wrong’ part — but even though Ovechkin has been in the league for years, got a game misconduct for another dirty hit just two games prior, and injured Sergei Gonchar on an almost identical knee-to-knee hit in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals, Boudreau would have “made a different decision” than to suspend Ovechkin for two games. Ovechkin should not change the way he plays.

Can anyone find anything contradictory in these two quotes? Try holding a magnifying glass up to your computer screen and squinting really hard through it, if that helps.

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