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Why Smith Started

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

And while it would be out of character for Boucher to publicly acknowledge any lack of confidence in any of his players, it was puzzling to hear him explain that Smith got the start in part because he likes to give everyone a chance.

“When people deserve things, whether they’re a fourth-line or a third-line or seventh or eighth D, when they deserve [it]—I’m one of those guys that I’ll give people a chance,” the coach said. “And I felt that Smitty had been terrific for us for a long, long time and he deserved to get a game.”

Fair enough. But this is not recess dodgeball where everyone gets a turn because, well, it’s dodgeball. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs with a Stanley Cup finals berth on the line. You start the players you think can get you to the finish line. This isn’t about being fair; it’s about trying to gain a competitive advantage.

Boucher, at least, did acknowledge the rest might be good for the 41-year-old Roloson.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith



Fair enough. But this is not recess dodgeball where everyone gets a turn because, well, it’s dodgeball.

Good one, Scotty, except that he specifically said he game Smith the start because of how well he’d been playing, not because “well, it’s dodgeball”.


Posted by Garth on 05/24/11 at 12:43 PM ET

WingMan's avatar

Plus, lets not forget what kind of message that sent to Roloson…  he will start the next game and I bet he is itchin to get in there and steal one!  Boucher has a psych degree, and he uses it pretty frequently wink

Posted by WingMan from The Q C on 05/24/11 at 12:50 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Losing Bergenheim to injury early in the game was probably the difference. Who hit him or was he injured some other way? Writers shouldn’t mention a player got injured then not provide details as to how. I
Goalie switch didn’t prove a mistake though a Game 5 starting goalie switch was an extremely bold decision. I think most would agree Roloson is the better goalie overall.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 05/24/11 at 12:52 PM ET


Plain and simple, Smith was not the reason why the Lightning lost last night. Two defensive breakdowns and a solid Boston forecheck hurt, not to mention wasting four-straight power plays.

Posted by tj77 from USA on 05/24/11 at 01:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The entire article does a much better job framing Burnside’s argument here.  He spends a good portion of the intro explaining that Smith was likely the right choice and how neither of the two goals he gave up were his fault.

The whole piece really is more about how Boucher was lying through his teeth when talking about “giving everybody a chance” and about how Burnside thinks it’s because Boucher has lost confidence in Roloson.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/24/11 at 01:26 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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