Looks like Bruce Boudreau‘s last stand as coach of the Washington Capitals came when he sat an uninjured Alexander Semin out of a game with Phoenix last week. The move woke up nobody, and Boudreau’s gone.

A lot of folks pointed out at the time that the last time Semin was a healthy scratch came in the 2003-2004 season.

The Semin benching ain’t the only similarity between this year and that.

That 2003-2004 season saw another Caps coach named Bruce—-this one Cassidy—-get canned because he couldn’t get the international superstar team captain (this one Jaromir Jagr) or the rest of the lineup to play up to billing.

Caps management was peeved at both Bruces entering their last season for failing to get past Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup playoffs a year before, also.

“You can’t fire the players,” was the mantra then and now.

One more similarity: George McPhee was the general manager who fired both Bruces.

Which brings up a couple questions: How can some NHL GM’s basically get tenure, while coaches are deemed disposable? And, how long before McPhee’s the scapegoat here?