Boudreau in awe of reaching 1,000-game milestone: 'I still pinch myself'

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Bruce Boudreau became the 29th bench boss in NHL history to coach 1,000 games Sunday night versus the St. Louis Blues.

For the Vancouver Canucks head coach, it's a dream come true.

"It's all I ever wanted to do, was be involved in hockey," Boudreau said prior to the milestone, according to TSN. "It's taken a lot of winding roads. I still pinch myself about where it's at, at this stage.

"I'm in awe with the fact that it's my 1,000th game here."

The Canucks honored him with a video tribute prior to the contest.

The 67-year-old currently holds a 577-306-117 record across 14 seasons with the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, and the Canucks, who appointed Boudreau as Travis Green's successor earlier this campaign.

Prior to his stint in Vancouver, Boudreau hadn't coached an NHL game since the 2019-20 season after being fired by the Minnesota Wild.

"I can only thank the Aquilinis (the team owners) for giving me the opportunity to do it," Boudreau said. "I didn't know if it would ever happen again, but it's a pretty special night for my family and myself."

For the players under Boudreau's charge, their mission Sunday was simple.

"Obviously, you want to win (this) one," Canucks forward Tanner Pearson said. "It's a special day for him. Hopefully, we get the win."

Though the Canucks ultimately fell to the Blues 3-1, Boudreau praised his side's effort.

"They tried their butt off, there's no doubt," he said, according to The Athletic's Thomas Drance.

Boudreau's return to the bench has revitalized the previously struggling Canucks. The team is 10-4-2 under his guidance, including a seven-game win streak to start his tenure.

Boudreau in awe of reaching 1,000-game milestone: 'I still pinch myself'
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