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Ducks' Bruce Boudreau named as finalist for NHL coach of year

May 17, 2013|By Lance Pugmire
  • Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau guided the team to the second-best record in the NHL's Western Conference.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau guided the team to the second-best record in… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau was named Friday as one of three finalists for the NHL’s Jack Adams Award, honoring the league’s coach of the year.

“Bruce and his staff have done a terrific job leading our team," Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said. "We have a hardworking group that was prepared to play and meet the challenge of a short regular season, which is a credit to our coaching staff and the players. This is certainly a deserved honor.”

Joel Quenneville, who guided the Chicago Blackhawks to the NHL’s best regular-season record, and the Ottawa Senators' Paul MacLean, whose team navigated a slew of key injuries, are the other finalists. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Finals in June, with most insiders expecting MacLean to win.

Boudreau’s Ducks rallied in the lockout-shortened season, going from missing the postseason in 2011-12 to challenging Chicago for the top record before finishing 30-12-6. The Ducks were bounced from the playoffs Sunday night, losing Game 7 of their first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2.

“It’s hard coming off the most depressing moment of the year, but it’s certainly a great honor,” Boudreau said of the award he won in 2007-08 with the Washington Capitals.

No previous Ducks coach has earned an Adams nomination, and Boudreau, 58, said he doesn't expect to claim the recognition.

“I know how many great coaches there are in the league and to be thought of in the top three, it humbles you, brings you down to earth,” he said. “Joel kept his team at a high level for such a long time, and Paul kept his team in the running ... to be mentioned with them is quite an honor.”

The Ducks are a combined 57-35-14 under Boudreau, who is signed through the 2014-15 season.

He said his ability to move the Ducks to continue their improved play after his hiring in 2011-12 proved pivotal after he was fired in Washington.

“The game, the business is very strange, it works in mysterious ways,” Boudreau said. “Great game, tough business, and I’m happy to be part of it. Great players and good help make good coaches. This is a complete team effort.”

Boudreau said he is excited about the Ducks in 2013-14 because of young players such as Long Beach’s Emerson Etem, who scored three playoff goals.

In the meantime, Boudreau said he’ll watch the Stanley Cup playoffs. He projects that the Kings will play Chicago in the Western Conference finals, and that Chicago and Pittsburgh will meet in the Stanley Cup finals.

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter.com/latimespugmire

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