A Tale of Two Coaches: Bruce or Barry?

Bruce Boudreau and Barry Trotz rank up there in popularity with the likes of former Washington Capitals coach Bryan Murray who holds the Caps franchise record of 672 games coached and 343 regular season wins. Both men instill a sense of pride and a desire to succeed in their teams. They are devoted family men. They are mentors to players and looked up to by fans. There is something relatable and likeable about these two men.

We had great hopes that Bruce would lead the team all the way to the cup and today we are hoping that Barry is the man who will do what Bruce couldn’t.

The comparison pretty much ends there, especially when simply looking at their career statistics. And this season one has coached his team to the top and one has fought to stay out of the bottom.

Bruce Boudreau Barry Trotz
Years Coaching 9     (5)      15        (2)
Games 644 (329) 1,196   (128)
Wins 383 (201) 557      (80)
Points 842 (442) 1,274   (174)
Playoff Games 73   (37)    50       (14)
Playoff Wins 38       (17)    19       (7)
Times No. 1 in division 7      1

(Caps Stats)

The Washington Capitals have 25 playoff appearances in the team’s 40 year history. Of the 17  coaches since 1974, its first year in the NHL, only nine coaches took the Caps to the playoffs. Barry Trotz coached Nashville for 13 years and was only able to get to the playoffs seven out of those 13 years—never going all the way. Though Boudreau coached Washington for a shorter period of time, the team made it to the playoffs every year he was at the helm. Still without lifting the cup, despite some great commercials about bringing it home.

But do these stats really matter? When you look at the coaches and the way their current teams (WAS and ANA) are playing now, we don’t think so. The coaches effect players in different ways and their styles definitely influence the way the game is played. But player’s talents vary from team to team and the Caps have had to embrace a new philosophy with Barry Trotz.

barry and kuzy
Coach Trotz: Inspiring his boys to greatness.


For whatever reason, the philosophy that Coach Trotz brought to Washington is one that this team, for this season, seems to be accepting and implementing. Everyone seems to agree that this team is playing differently. There is something behind the curtain to which the fans and media are not privy, but it sure seems to be working. We wish Bruce success, but when the coaches face off on Friday, it is in Barry Trotz that we put our hope.

barry and girls
Barry and FiCP writers.





Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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