Bruce Boudreau’s life has taken him on the hockey path from player to coach, but as a coach he has a special appreciation for the lives of others in the profession.
On Monday the Caps’ coach got a chance to see Mike Shanahan and the Redskins practice and tried to glean useful information out of it.
“There’s some great ideas that football does and I think hockey can use, and I’m sure hockey has things that football players can use,” Boudreau said. “It’s sort of like sharing knowledge, and I think it’s pretty interesting.”
It was an innocent enough idea, with special teams coach Danny Smith inviting Boudreau and his 11-year-old son, Brady, out to Ashburn for the day. Brady Boudreau spent some time running the jugs machine — which his father called the “tire thingy” and the two threw the football around on the turf field as the Redskins were wrapping up.
It was his first chance to meet Shanahan, and Boudreau was intrigued about the number of coaches a football team uses and how the flow of a long practice works. Shanahan wanted to talk about Joe Sakic, who led the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup during the coach’s time with the Broncos.
Amid the fun, Boudreau was soaking in things that could help in September and beyond.
“I remember watching Knute Rockne and he was picking up things from a play — just different ideas that they have that I thought maybe I can pick up something and see if it can work for us,” Boudreau said.
This was Boudreau’s first visit to Redskins Park, but he likes the idea of his players experiencing what he did Monday.
“I think it’d be neat if the players saw what goes on out here — just the specialized things and how the progression of practice goes and the length of it,” Boudreau said. “I never would’ve thought a football player’s day is so long, and then the coaches’ days are a lot longer than that. I thought it was quite an eye-opening experience.”
When a TV reporter asked about Matt Bradley’s comments from a radio interview last week about playoff playing time and Alexander Semin, Boudreau politely brushed off the subject.
“Oh, I’m not talking about Matt Bradley right now,” he said.