Prior to appearing on HBO’s “24/&” show leading up to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic the only “acting” experience Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s resume contained was as an extra in the movie Slap Shot. Boudreau portrayed a member of the Hyannisport Presidents (green sweater #7).

With some extra time in between Game 3 and 4, Boudreau returned to his “24/7” roots as he channeled his inner Rex Ryan. Much like the Jets coach, Boudreau took to the air to act crazy – as a fox.

Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post offered up the following transcript of Boudreau’s interview with Washington radio station 105.9.

“Well, the one thing, its reputation is far better than the actual building,” Boudreau said. “I mean, it’s nothing. The locker rooms are horrible. The benches are horrible. There’s no room for anything. But the reputation of being in Madison Square Garden is what makes it famous. Also, our building’s a lot louder, too. So I mean, they can say what they want, but it’s not that loud in there.”

Madison Square Garden is the oldest building in the NHL and very well may be a dump, but it is our dump – the same way Shea Stadium was to New York Mets fans.

His building is also the place where they have to rely on some guy blowing on a plastic horn in order to make noise. In addition, I seem to remember seeing Caps fans dump water and ice on the Rangers bench and coaches. Bruce had better watch out because that liquid that might be spilled on him on Wednesday night might not be water.

You have to give Boudreau credit for shifting the focus off his team and on to himself – much like Ryan did for his Jets.

You have to remember that the Capitals have lost their last two playoff series after holding two game leads. After coming from behind to defeat the Rangers in 2009, Washington won the first two games against Pittsburgh only to lose to the Penguins in seven games.

Last year, the President Trophy winning Capitals could not close out Montreal as the eighth seeded Canadiens roared back to win in seven games after trailing three-games-to-one.

It is a point that Tarik El-Bashir of The Washington Post addressed.

“One doesn’t need to be a pessimist to see troubling parallels between what’s happened over the past 80 minutes and what transpired last April, when Washington let a 3-1 series lead slip away and fell to Montreal in Game 7.”

In addition to shifting the focus off his team, Boudreau continued deflecting by complaining about the officiating – a time-honored tradition among coaches in all sports.

Steinberg offered up the following diatribe from the Boudreau interview.

“During the playoffs you have a supervisor at every game, so if you have a complaint or something that you want to lodge, you talk to the supervisor and then he’ll talk to the referees and he’ll talk to the powers that be,” Boudreau explained. “But the trick about that is it’s usually closing the door and the horse has left the barn, it’s an over-and-done fact, because the referees are different every game in the first series. .?.?.”

“So what they do is they can warn the other guys that this is what the other team’s talking about and look out for it, but that’s pretty well what you can do. I mean, the refs are very serious about this too, this is their playoffs too, their Stanley Cup, so they don’t want to make any mistakes. But it happens.”

For his credit, Rangers coach John Tortorella took the high road when asked about Boudreau’s comments during an interview with Michael Kay of ESPN 1050 radio in New York.

“We haven’t really thought too much about locker rooms, how loud it is,” Larry Brooks of the NY Post wrote. “I’m not even sure what he’s trying to say there.

“We’re just concerned with trying to be the best we can be and play the right way. Now, I will say the fans gave us a tremendous lift last night. “I’m hoping that we can get off to a good start and continue on our way. That’s our concentration. Nothing else around us is going to (deter) us from our focus, and that’s our next game.”

In addition to his general whining, er complaining, Boudreau vented about the rough treatment goalie Michal Neuvirth received from the Blueshirts in Game 3 and he called for the NHL to review what the Caps coach called a Marc Staal head shot to Mike Green as Alexander Ovechkin tied the game in the second period.

If you look back at the first three games, Tortorella is correct when he said the Rangers could just as easily be ahead 2-1 in the series. A defensive breakdown cost them a chance to win Game 1 1-0 and a two-minute stretch in Game 2 cost the Rangers dearly.

The Blueshirts ability to stay within striking distance is not one that is lost on the Capitals – hence Boudreau’s attempt to shift the focus.

“The mood at the team’s Arlington practice facility was businesslike Monday. High-minute players stayed off the ice and those who spoke to reporters did so in calm, measured tones,” El-Bashir wrote.

“But it was still impossible to escape the feeling that the Capitals are at a crossroads in their postseason journey.”

Washington’s Brooks Laich confirmed El-Bashir’s opinion when he told the writer that the fourth game “is really going to swing the series. We could take a stranglehold on it, or it could be a very long series.”

Given their past history, the last thing the Capitals want is a long series because they have lost their last three Game 7 playoff matchups.

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