The New Caps Coach Was in ‘Slap Shot’

It’s been a strange season for the ice-breaking, goal-shaking Washington Capitals. They started off 3-0 with people talking playoffs. Then they went 3-14-1 and fired their coach on Thanksgiving. Now they’ve won two in a row under fiery first-timer Bruce Boudreau. Whether or not the new guy is the solution remains to be seen, but there is this: he skated in Slap Shot.

The Johnstown Jets [the inspiration for Paul Newman's Chiefs] were the Fighting Saints farm team and when the movie was being shot in 1975, Boudreau was in his rookie season and used for many of the on-ice scenes. No speaking role, though.

“I pretty much just hung around the camera – I was a bit of a hot dog,” Boudreau said. “I show it to my kids now just to prove to them that one day I had hair.”

And not just any hair either, but hockey hair. Check out the ’75 Jets team photo, it’s Coach Boudreau in the middle row, third from left:

johnstown-jets.jpg

That’s the good stuff right there. Boudreau seems like a quality guy, and, even though he can’t fix what ails the Caps (namely, a lack of depth), the playoffs are still a possibility. We’re pulling for him to get there, ideally with some of Reggie Dunlop’s motivation and the Hanson brothers’ muscle.

(Many of the links for this post were discovered via On Frozen Blog.)

Update: FanHouse’s Greg Wyshynski has a fine profile on Boudreau, and even asks him about this post. Well, kind of.

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