How Good is Guy Boucher?

With the Senators at the 60 game mark, we take a look at how Guy Boucher’s team stacks up against their counterparts of previous years.

Dave Cameron (2014-2015)

Let’s start by fondly remembering Dave Cameron. Cameron was promoted to the head coaching position following the firing of Paul MacLean in December 2014. Cameron led the young Senators team to a 33-15-8 record that season, amassing 72 points over the stretch of 55 games. Much of Cameron’s outstanding coaching record that season and subsequent buzz around a young team coming off a historic push to the reach the playoffs was due to the miracle run, led by none other than Andrew Hammond (let’s all take a moment to remember him fondly as he was, not as he is now). The Senators went on a tear after losing their starting goaltender, Craig Anderson, and rallied to clinch a playoff spot in their final regulation game. They would ultimately exit the playoffs early on.

Dave Cameron reached the 60 game plateau early in the 2015-2016 campaign, only needing 5 additional games to do so. Over those 5 games, the team amassed a record of 3-2-0, good enough for 6 points.

60 game record: 36-17-8

60 game point total: 78 points (of possible 120)

60 game point percentage: .650


Paul MacLean (2011-2012)

MacLean (A.K.A. The Walrus) was hired by the Senators on June 14, 2011. During the first 60 games of the 2011-2012 campaign, his team held an admirable 30-22-8 record, amassing 68 points. The team would go on to finish the season with 92 points, good enough for second in their division. Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs (no, unfortunately this is not a recording), the Senators’ season did not go unnoticed. MacLean was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, eventually losing to arguably the more deserving Ken Hitchcock of the St.Louis Blues. MacLean would go on to once again be named a finalist the following season, this time winning the prestigious coaching award. On December 8, 2014, he was fired and replaced by Dave Cameron.

60 game record: 30-22-8

60 game point total: 68 points (of possible 120)

60 game point percentage: .567


And now, the man of the hour…

Guy Boucher (2016-2017)

Guy Boucher has received high praise from Senators fans and media members alike for the structure and system that he has been able to implement over his first 60 games in Ottawa. It was a rocky start to the season for the team, as Boucher faced the seemingly impossible task of fixing the black hole that was the Senators’ blueline. Perhaps his biggest achievement thus far behind the Senators bench was his ability to make Mark Borowiecki good not a complete tire fire in his own end (there’s a compliment in there somewhere). As the defence improved steadily, the offence came as well. It was a frustrating period of adjustment for a team and fan base that finally had an experienced coach for the first time in years, but was still desperate to return to their winning ways after missing the playoffs the previous season.

Currently, the Senators are in the midst of a playoff push after finding some much needed offence in the last 20 or so games. While his early record in Ottawa is strikingly similar to his two predecessors, the Senators are visually and statistically a better team on the ice. Cameron owes most of the credit for his team’s positive record to Andrew Hammond‘s miracle run, going 20-1-2 down the stretch. Take away Hammond’s numbers from Cameron’s 33-15-8 record and his team drops to 13-14-6. Not too impressive.

One of Boucher’s strengths thus far this season is his ability, or perhaps willingness, to play his best players, something that MacLean and even Cameron rarely did, to the dismay of fans (and the players as well). Boucher relies on his top-six forwards and top-four defensemen regularly to come up big in key moments of the game. Hoffman is on the power-play, Borowiecki isn’t a top-six forward, underperforming players are regularly healthy scratches, and the Senators are vying for first in the Atlantic division. If only we could get Freddy Claesson more minutes, but alas…

Not impressed? Consider this: out of Ottawa’s 33 wins, backup goaltender Mike Condon has 17. Out of Ottawa’s 11 shutouts this season, Mike Condon has 6. Consider that, despite Craig Anderson’s prolonged absence from the team, they’ve found a way to consistently get results. Mike Condon may not be a fluke, but he’s not the reason the Senators are winning. Guy Boucher is.

60 game record: 33-21-6

60 game point total: 72 points (of possible 120)

60 game point percentage: .600

Let us know what you think below, or tweet at @TheSystemOttawa. If you liked this article, please share on Twitter!

 

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