Four losses – two of them ugly – made for speculation. Whether fair or not justified or not, questions came from around the NHL about coach Bruce Boudreau’s seat and its level of heat.
Players said earlier this week they don’t think about the fact that change could be coming.
“That never goes through our mind unless something actually does happen,” right wing Troy Brouwer said Sunday. “For us, it’s business as usual. We came in this morning expecting a good, hard practice, work hard. George [McPhee] and Bruce are going to do what they do to make this team better, and we’re going to do what we need to do to make this team better.”
Matt Hendricks responded with a simple, “No.”
The Caps beat the Coyotes 4-3 on Monday night, at least temporarily silencing the outside voices. Boudreau seemed genuinely relieved about getting that win, the 200th of his NHL career, saying: “I would’ve traded 199 of them for that one today. When you don’t win for any length of time, it gets tougher. It came at a good time.”
On Tuesday Boudreau said he can’t control anything outside his job.
“All I can do is come out and coach every day and work my heart out and let the chips fall where they may,” he said. “I can’t control anybody else. I try not to listen to it or let it bother me and just go out and do my job and take it from there.”