Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry said he takes “a lot of the blame” for the team’s early post-season exit, and said recently fired coach Bruce Boudreau has “nothing really” to do with the Ducks being bounced from the playoffs in a Game 7 on home ice for the fourth-straight season.
Say what you will about former Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau’s ability to succeed in the playoffs, but it’s clear his former players felt the four consecutive losses in Game 7s on home ice fell on no one but themselves. That includes Corey Perry, who has been one of the team’s longtime leaders.
Perry was shutout in the post-season, picking up four assists but failing to find the back of the net himself in the seven-game first-round series against the Nashville Predators. Perry wasn’t without his chances — he took 21 shots in the first round — but he was never able to solve Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne, and the 30-year-old winger seemed well aware that his lack of finish could very well have cost Boudreau his job.
“I take a lot of blame for what happened,” Perry said in his exit interview with media. “I didn’t score a goal. Whatever it might be. What happened, I take a lot of responsibility for that.”
The Predators’ ability to shutdown Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the first round was likely the difference-maker in the series, and Nashville was able to slow down the duo to the tune of two goals and nine points. That’s not enough from Perry and Getzlaf in a series the Ducks were expected to win, and the Ducks veteran understood his shortcomings in the series. However, he didn’t stop at simply saying he didn’t do enough.
“You lose four Game 7s at home, but he had nothing really to do with what we did on the ice,” Perry said. “We’re on the ice, we’re performing, we’re playing and we have to hold ourselves accountable. I think a lot of guys are going to do that this summer.”
Perry wasn’t the only one to feel like Boudreau took the heat for the team’s inability to get them through a Game 7 on home ice, though. Ryan Kesler, who has a six-year, $41.25-million deal kicking in next season, called Boudreau “a quality guy” and said it hurts to see the coach take the blame. Kesler even said his Selke Trophy nomination was thanks to the coach.
“It’s a tribute to Bruce and him trusting me in those situations, throwing me out against the other team’s top line from Christmas on and giving me that challenge,” Kesler said. “He trusted me and I relished that.”
While it certainly won’t ease the sting of watching their coach and friend get sent packing from the organization, the Ducks players can take some solace in the fact Boudreau likely won’t last long on the free agent coaching market. Boudreau was hired by the Ducks two days after his firing from the Washington Capitals in 2011, and already he appears to be one of the top candidates for coaching vacancies in Ottawa and Minnesota.