Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: guy boucher
Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy has all the details on the opening pitch from Boucher last night.
added 10:52am, another video below, with more angles...
“Sophomore psychology is thinking you’re good, that’s why you don’t perform. The problem is, we think we are what we were last year at the end of the year — we’re not. We’re not at all, we’re not the same team. It’s a different year, different situation. And we’ve got to grind it out every game. And even if we play at our best, and play desperate hockey and give everything we’ve got, we might lose. Why? Because the other team is desperate and wants to make the playoffs and needs to prove something.”
-Guy Boucher, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. More on this topic from Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.
For Canadiens fans frustrated by the stultifyingly dull personal and professional stylings of Jacques Martin, losing Boucher to the Tampa Bay Lightning was the biggest woulda-coulda-shoulda scenario of the 2010-2011 NHL season.
As a rookie head coach with Tampa Bay, the former coach of the Canadiens’ AHL franchise in Hamilton took the Lightning to within a whisker of the Stanley Cup final.
Along the way, Boucher demonstrated that he’s a master motivator, manipulator and innovator. He managed to keep his best players defensively responsible without sacrificing offence, and he did it all without the benefit of being able to rely on a legitimate number one goaltender.
Above and beyond his professional credentials, Boucher is a dynamic personality who would be a star in this town, which embraces its hockey stars like no other city in the world. In a culture and a sport that both cater to emotion, the passionate and animated Boucher is a much more natural fit than the hopelessly inscrutable Martin.
Q. Could you just describe your emotions—obviously your team laid it all out on the line in Game 7—what you’re feeling right now?
COACH BOUCHER: Obviously it’s difficult. It’s difficult because you know what your players put on the ice is every little ounce of energy is left that they have, so there’s a lot of respect that comes at the end of this.
It’s difficult because we were playing these Playoffs for Wayne Fleming. And we know he’s going through a hard battle right now. And we knew that every win that we got put a smile on his face. So that was really important to us.
And it’s too bad we couldn’t put a smile on his face tonight. But we certainly recognize everything he’s done for this team and how close we felt as a family. And obviously he was a big part of it.
So I guess there’s losing but there’s a lot more than that for us. We had a year that was so full of adversity. You start the year and you have half the team that’s new, an entire staff that’s new, an administration that’s new. GM and president, CEO and owner, and so many new people coming together, and I just think it’s outstanding that the players and everybody else involved in the organization was able to get this team to be a team real fast. That’s really difficult, even with a team that you had the previous year.
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. You’ve been in Game 7s before but not at this stage with these kind of stakes. Do you have to do anything to talk to your guys about emotions and keeping everything in check and under control?
COACH JULIEN: I think Game 7 is Game 7 whether it’s first or third round. There’s an opportunity here to move on to the next round. That to me is what Game 7 represents, no matter where you are in the Playoffs.
Our guys just have to enjoy this whole process here. As I mentioned yesterday, there’s 27 teams right now that would love to have the opportunity that we have in the Playoffs right now. This is one of those days where I think if you don’t enjoy the moment, you’re wasting a pretty precious day. And you take advantage of it today, you get ready, you get excited about it. You come out tonight and you leave it all out on the ice. Simple as that. Anything less than that, it’s a waste of a day.
Q. Guy, I know you like to talk about a team game and that everybody contributes, but in a game where Sean Bergenheim wasn’t there, you got such contributions from Marty, Vinny and Stamkos, I was just curious what kind of responsibility they put on themselves in this game and how they came through it.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I was expecting a big game from those guys, but I disagreed that they didn’t have big games in the last games. Looking at the scoreboard, there’s more to the game than just scoring goals and having points. They had very good games before. It just wasn’t going in for some of them, and for some other guys it was going in.
So for me, they just get the result of their previous games’ hard work. So I don’t think it’s an on and off switch. It’s something that you build every game, and they got what they deserved.
Q. You said after last game, if only you could solve the enigma that is Tim Thomas. After tonight, would you say you’ve solved that or most of it?
Q. Who is going to start in goal for you tomorrow night?
COACH BOUCHER: Roloson.
Q. Can you give us your reasoning for that?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, I mean, he was the guy that took us here, and that’s how I felt before last game; but like I said, I felt like it was time to give him a little breather.
And at the same time I felt that Smitty played really well. So it’s a perfect situation to put Smitty in. If something were to go wrong in the previous game, put a new goaltender in for a do-or-die, I don’t think it would have been a good moment for anybody.
So this is a perfect situation. He’s going to be the only rested guy in the two teams.
Q. I just wondered if you could talk about your decision on the goaltending. And he told us you didn’t tell him until about lunchtime, and he said maybe that was to kind of keep the pressure off. If you could just talk about that decision?
COACH BOUCHER: Yes, that’s exactly the reason why. And we did that this year. We had Desjardins come in who was coming from the American League, and he’s playing—we’re playing the Canadiens, and that’s the team he got traded from, his team of his youth.
And sometimes to avoid some pressure and making sure the guys sleep well at night, rather tell them after, at lunchtime. And we did that. And I think it paid off. He played really well.
Q. What happened really in that period? You guys fell in that big hole. There were some turnovers and stuff, talk about what happened there.
RYAN MALONE: We gave them their opportunity there and they capitalized on it. We all kind of talked about that. Obviously eliminate their mistakes and stick with the plan. And all year we’ve been pretty resilient and having kept up with some big goals, and the guys stayed even-keeled, which was very important.
Q. Teddy, take us through your two goals.
TEDDY PURCELL: I was coming off the change on the first one. And Gags and Bugsy did a real good job causing pressure and taking them in. And Gags made a real nice play out to me just kind of faked the shot and just put it on net.
And second one was the same shift. We came down and were putting pressure on them. And we had guys at the net and I don’t think Thomas saw it. I put it on the net and luckily it went in. So it was a good chip for me and it’s one I’ll always remember, that’s for sure.
From Gary Shelton at St. Petersburg Times:
Think of Boucher as a surgeon’s scalpel. Think of Tortorella as a Viking’s broadsword. Think of Boucher as your favorite teacher. Think of Tortorella as your grumpy uncle. Think of Boucher playing chess. Think of Tortorella playing with fire.
You know, like that.
None of this is meant to lessen the impact of either coach. Frankly, the world needs diplomats, and it needs trail bosses. When you consider the job Boucher has done this year, and the job that Torts did in his years, Tampa Bay should feel a fondness for both men. At this point, the most fair thing you can say is that Tortorella was the perfect coach for the championship team, and Boucher has been the perfect coach for this one.
“I think there are a lot more similarities than differences,” said Nigel Kirwan, the Lightning’s video coach who worked for both men. “They’re both pretty intense in their desire to win. And when they lose, they’re both men you want to stay away from. Neither one of them likes losing, which is why I think they’ve both been successful.”
from Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated,
Guy Boucher prefers not to share the story behind the L-shaped scar on the right side of his face. Unfortunately for the first-year coach of the Lightning—a Quebec native whose name is pronounced GEE Boo-SHAY—the word is out in cyberspace. One Bolts fan has it on good authority that many summers ago the coach was hit in the face with a brick while working construction.
Check that. A different account has Boucher cutting himself with his father’s hunting knife on a long-ago camping trip. In point of fact, claims a dissenting blogger, Boucher was scratched by a cat; the cut became infected. Wrong animal, ripostes another denizen of the Interwebs, who reports that the poor fellow was mauled by a dog.
Boucher and his wife, Marsha, have an eight-year-old son, Vincent, and seven-year-old twins, Mila and Naomi. To avoid frightening them, he explains, he would prefer not to reveal how he cut his face until his kids are a few years older. With so many bogus stories swirling around, the issue is now hopelessly clouded. In other words, Boucher wins.
He and Tampa Bay have done nothing but win since April 20.
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman spoke Thursday morning about just wanting to get the game against his former club over with.
Without a doubt, after a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the visiting Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman’s Bolts are happy to move on.
While he has continually insisted that the showdown with the team for which he became an icon during his playing career was not a big deal, it had to at least be a little weird for Yzerman to see his Lightning facing his Wings.
Come to think of it, there was a little bit of weird for all involved throughout the evening, beginning with an ovation for Yzerman himself, shown briefly on the LightningVision scoreboard, that seemed almost like a “Thank you” from longtime Detroit fans and bested anything in recent memory from the home crowd in appreciation.
Journey may have fabricated “South Detroit” in their overplayed anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” but it sure seemed like that was a very real location for last night’s game – and the temporary mailing address for the St. Pete Times Forum.
Two overused hockey clichés, yes, but each applied to last night’s tilt between the Eastern Conference’s top two clubs, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was, without a doubt, a playoff-type atmosphere at the St. Pete Times Forum, in a back-and-forth, physical affair that resulted in the virtual tie of a shootout victory for Philadelphia.
And the statement that was made in Philly’s 4-3 win is that both of these clubs are for real, each a legitimate contender when the postseason hits, and that a playoff series between the two would be intensity at its best.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: claude+giroux, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, james+van+riemsdyk, kimmo+timonen, scott+hartnell, teddy+purcell, vincent+lecavalier
We’ve said it several times this season – that the Southleast is no more. With 308 combined points in the standings, Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina, Atlanta and Florida comprise the Eastern Conference’s top division by that standard. Only the Pacific Division (321 points) has had more success as a group this season in the entire league. There’s even a fighting chance that four Southeast Division clubs could make the playoffs.
Suffice it to say, anyone still knocking the hockey played down here in this corner of the continent can be officially discredited. Clearly, anyone in that category hasn’t been paying attention this season.
Beyond team accolades, when the book is closed on the 2010-11 season, the Southeast Division has a legitimate chance for representation in almost every major year-end individual award. Some have sturdier ground to stand on than others in that respect but several individuals from Southeast clubs look to at least be in the conversation for some hardware in Vegas in late June.
Since premature awards speculation has started to heat up at a few other media outlets – always fun to keep tabs on ESPN’s Trophy Tracker but no Tampa Bay love in the Adams race, really? – here’s a list of potential trophy candidates from the Southeast Division, in no particular order.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: craig+ramsay, daniel+sedin, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, guy+boucher, henrik+sedin, jeff+skinner, john+carlson, logan+couture, martin+st.+louis, nhl+awards, ryan+kesler, steven+stamkos, tobias+enstrom
Give them credit.
The Washington Capitals came into Tampa last night, home of the current leaders in the very Southeast Division that they’ve owned for as long as most can remember, on a night where the Lightning were celebrating a new franchise motto, emblem and direction, no less and they put it on their hosts, stopping the Bolts’ six-game losing streak just like that and showing that they’re not ready to hand over the Southeast crown just yet.
And give him credit, as in Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau, for trying something different against Tampa Bay’s 1-3-1 attack. His club needed this one and, shut down offensively (to the tune of consecutive shutouts) in their previous two showdowns against Tampa, Boudreau got his players to buy into an intentionally passive approach after gaining the lead, daring the Lightning to attack while sitting back with the puck in the defensive zone.
The change in philosophy, even for a night, let Washington put recent history against Tampa Bay out of their minds, produced the intended result and yielded a four-point swing in their favor, as a Lightning win would have extended their lead in the division to seven points. Instead, the Capitals are now just three behind Tampa, having conceded nothing with 29 regular season games left for each team and one head-to-head remaining on the schedule between these two.
With the pre-All-Star break portion of their schedule now officially complete after last night’s 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit comfortably atop the Southeast Division, second overall in the Eastern Conference and can rest, save for All-Stars Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, with five days before a meeting with the East-leading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
51 games in the books, 31 to play – before the second season, that is, which is now nothing short of extremely likely for Tampa Bay. (Playoff hockey, folks! And – gasp – something to get excited about!)
Actually, there’s been plenty of excitement surrounding the Lightning all season already.
There are, of course, the 31 wins – second only to Philadelphia (33) and matched only by Pittsburgh in all the National Hockey League.
There’s the 16-4-2 home record and the fact that all but one of the Lightning’s hockey games in February will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum, with ten tilts remaining on the lengthy 12-game homestand.
There are individual performances to consider, namely St. Louis and Stamkos, near the top of the league in goals, assists and points all season long and the latter now in position for “Rocket” Richard and Art Ross honors with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on the shelf.
***Sorry for the delay, folks. A few technical issues in getting the show uploaded this week. Thanks. - JJ***
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, Jon, Mark and Mike compare the current state of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus where we all thought they might be at the 50-game mark, share our thoughts on the upcoming All-Star game and some possible ways to improve the event, weigh in on the drama surrounding Evgeni Nabokov, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders, admit some nerves about the upcoming uniform/logo changes for Tampa Bay and much more…
Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: all-star+game, dwayne+roloson, evgeni+nabokov, guy+boucher, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
Yesterday, the aim here was to reaffirm the realistic goal of a Southeast Division championship for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Keeping pace with the three-time defending champion Washington Capitals through 43 games was enough, at face value, to establish that. But, in shutting out the Caps for a second consecutive meeting and, really, dominating last night’s game throughout, the Lightning have taken things a step further.
The road to the Southeast Division championship goes through Tampa.
Clearly, nothing’s been settled yet. 38 games remaining games for each club – with two more against each other – dictates as much. But the tides have turned in the Lightning’s favor since the acquisition of Dwayne Roloson, who has now blanked Washington twice in a week for his new club.
The difference between being outscored 12-3 in two losses to the Capitals earlier in the year and not allowing a single goal in two since goes far beyond a goaltending upgrade.
“We were trying to play their game,” Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher said of the first two meetings with Washington this year, “And, to be honest with you, at their game, they’re better than us.”
“We focused a lot less on the other team (in the two wins) and a lot more on ourselves.”
In doing so, the Bolts have flipped the script on their division rivals and sit alone atop the Southeast standings.
And while Washington has struggled to find consistency during a shift in identity from the offensive dynamo they’ve been in recent years, Tampa Bay has continually improved all season long.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, mattias+ohlund, sean+bergenheim, semyon+varlamov, steven+stamkos, victor+hedman
Following Dwayne Roloson’s stellar 34-save shutout debut in Tuesday night’s win in Washington, yours truly joined a host of other media types in pondering aloud just how far stable goaltending might propel the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After all, you can’t ask for a much better start with a new team than the one Roloson enjoyed against the Capitals.
That win elevated the Lightning into sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division and into a tie for the top point total in the Eastern Conference with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Enter the Penguins…
Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, steven+stamkos
Let’s not make too much of Dwayne Roloson’s 34-save, shutout debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Or, maybe, come to think of it, let’s…
It was but one game but what a big game it was.
To best the division rival Washington Capitals like that, with first place at stake in a 1-0 overtime finish, with both teams playing at a feverish pace all the while and the opposing goaltender standing on his head as well… Well, that’s one hell of a debut.
But, really, what you saw on Tuesday night is what Roloson brings to the table consistently. No, not a spectacular shutout performance each night (wouldn’t that be nice?) but a workman-like approach, a battle mentality and a proven track record of giving the team in front of him a chance to win on a nightly basis. Last night, Semyon Varlamov keeping the Bolts off the scoreboard for almost 63 minutes meant Roloson had to completely shut down the formidable Capitals attack and he was up to the task. On some nights, it will mean keeping the opponent from scoring a third or fourth goal.
Whatever the situation, with Roloson, you know what you’re getting.
And this could very well turn out to be the perfect fit with limitless potential.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, marc-andre+bergeron, mike+smith, steve+yzerman
A little pre-game surprise added to the excitement and anticipation for tonight’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning as goaltender Cedrick Desjardins was announced late as the Lightning’s starter, making his NHL debut against the organization with which he spent parts of four seasons before coming to Tampa Bay in an off-season trade.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher insisted, however, that his decision on a goaltender for tonight’s game had nothing to do with a Desjardins vs. Montreal scenario. Rather, it was quite the opposite.
“That was the right time because our streak was over,” Boucher said of a Lightning run of six wins in seven games and points in eight straight prior to Tuesday’s loss to Boston. “I almost didn’t start him because it was the Canadiens.”
That was crazy.
And, with craziness comes a reaction a bit altered from my Good, Bad, Ugly usual. Instead, a hodgepodge of thoughts for your consideration on this lovely Friday morning:
My reality (which I love, through and through, for the record) when the Lightning are on the road often entails missing the first few minutes of the first period, regardless of whether the game starts at 7:00 or 7:30. (Ergo, roadies outside the Eastern Time Zone do not apply.) You see, Papa JJ (by far my favorite of the many hats I wear) is usually either helping out with baths, bottles, diapers, bedtime or all of the above for one or both of my two young sons.
Though I’ve tried many times, I simply cannot get into the idea of watching on tape delay and catching up. Something just irks me, with sports, about what I’m currently seeing play out in front of me having already happened. And so, by the time I settle in on these kinds of evenings, oftentimes, much of the game story has already been told.
Case in point (I thought) last night, when I got comfortable on the couch with the Flyers already out to a 2-0 lead, 5:03 into the first period. “This was very predictable,” I remarked, having already gone on record to say that starting goaltender Dan Ellis again, after a relatively taxing win on Long Island the night before, was a questionable move on head coach Guy Boucher’s part. My muddled thinking would have given a struggling Mike Smith a go against the woeful Islanders and then Ellis in Philadelphia against a much stronger team. But, as it turned out, there was nothing at all predictable about last night’s outcome and, with the Bolts winning both of these games, once again in my life, I’m left wondering, “What the hell do I know?”
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: chris+botta, guy+boucher, nate+thompson, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy apparently has nothing better to do. Either that or he likes stirring the you-know-what just for the heck of it. Either way, the owner, coach, general manager of Quebec of the junior Quebec league, said (twice, actually) that the system Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher used from 2006-09 as coach of Drummondville of the Quebec league, was not only too defensive it has permeated the league and stunted the development of some Quebec league players.
First, Roy told the French web site Le Soleil the system “perhaps delayed the development of some young players.” Roy also said his team will “play hockey as it should be played,” meaning more wide open and free-wheeling.
Roy then told the Journal de Montreal that, “Boucher did nothing to help our league advance. His defensive system was copied by many other teams. I know my comments will not please Guy, but for me hockey should be focused on offense not defense.”
It’s been said, time and again, that the truly great teams can beat their opponent on any given night with any particular style of play. While this year’s Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn’t be too quick to anoint themselves the NHL’s next great club - after nine games, that would just be silly - the results have been impressive to this point and wins are coming in a variety of ways.
Tonight’s triumph over visiting Pittsburgh was of the comeback sort, with the Lightning rebounding from a pair of first period shorthanded tallies by the Penguins, an early goaltending change with Dan Ellis replacing Mike Smith after three goals allowed on seven shots and a 3-1 deficit overall. While no team wants to get in the habit of having to battle back like that and, surely, it can drive a coach crazy, that the Lightning have already proven capable of doing so gives them immeasurable confidence and should pay dividends down the road.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, guy+boucher, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier
Had a nice visit with Mick and Peter on “The War Room” this morning, where we discussed this season’s solid start for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos’ continued success as well as his need for a new contract (like yesterday) and the Bolts’ goaltending to this point.
Have a listen after the jump…
Last night’s tilt between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning won’t highlight any instructional hockey videos – it was ugly, all-around, really – and the finish was marred by what was probably the longest video review in the history of NHL hockey in October. But, though the 3-2 Islanders overtime victory serves as a shining example that, even in a slop fest like this one, there’s some good and bad to go with some serious ugly, I can’t bring myself to go full G, B & U today. (Tried – didn’t work – onward…)
Instead, some random observations:
It’s not as though I’m ever pulling for the Lightning to lose but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the first Guy Boucher post-loss press conference.
I’ve been impressed with Boucher, who seems to have the favorable blend of teacher, tactician and shrink attributes in his bag of coaching tricks, from the start. He’s been intense all the while but he’d led me to believe that after a loss – particularly a poorly-played loss – we’d see a different side and, last night, he didn’t disappoint.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, guy+boucher, matt+smaby, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, vincent+lecavalier
When you get waxed as the Tampa Bay Lightning did Saturday night in Sunrise, 6-0 to the Florida Panthers, all you can ask for is a rebound to the tune of two points in the following game. The Bolts got just that last night against Dallas, so complaints can be held to a minimum. Besides, as head coach Guy Boucher said during the preseason, this team won’t be at their best in the first 5, 10, 15 games of the season. And who would want them to be? Certainly, all would rather a club peak much, much (much, much, much) later, no?
Nevertheless, analyze we must.
Hence, the original: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, alex+ovechkin, brad+richards, brenden+morrow, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, james+neal, jeff+vinik, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, toby+petersen, victor+hedman
The Bolts Beat, 10/19/10: Lightning on the Road and a Look Ahead, Plus NHL Officiating Issues & More
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first road swing of the season and preview the week ahead for the Bolts, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” segment brings up an interesting debate on replay, major penalties and the like, Mike defends referees (a sure sign of the apocalypse) and much more.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, andrei+kostitsyn, blake+comeau, brad+richards, brett+clark, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, headshots, instant+replay, josh+bailey, kris+letang, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ritola, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, t.j.+brodie, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.
Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.
But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.
It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.
It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.
And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.
But there has to be something there still, right?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+bradley, enrico+ciccone, erik+gudbranson, guy+boucher, jacob+markstrom, jay+feaster, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, paul+laus, phil+esposito, quebec+nordiques, randy+moller, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tony+esposito, vincent+lecavalier
Death, taxes and JJ’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly…
The alternative to the standard game recap became a staple of my Tampa Bay Lightning coverage last season and it was only a matter of time before it made its season debut here.
Sure, the title of the regular feature has now been copied by a second-rate Bolts blog as of this morning but the content can’t hold a candle to the original and, hell, you’re here with me and they’re, well… They’re sleeping, I’m sure, on Pacific Time and what not… (Lightning coverage from California? Now that’s insight!)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
“I’m sure it’s going to be emotional, but the players need me to be calm,” Boucher said. “The thing to remember is that I didn’t coach the Montreal Canadiens. I coached some of the players and I know some of them. I worked for the organization and I’m grateful for the opportunity of working with Jacques Martin, Pierre Gauthier and Bob Gainey.
“We played two games in the Bell Centre and I’ve watched some games, there so I have an idea of what to expect,” said Boucher, who is the youngest coach in the NHL at 39.
He said the important thing is that Tampa has veteran players from Quebec like Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Simon Gagne.
“They have experience in playing in Montreal and they’re the ones who have to put on the show,” Boucher said.
Boucher is part of a major overhaul in Tampa. New owner Jeff Vinik brought in Steve Yzerman as his general manager and he raided the Canadiens’ organization to sign Boucher, who brought along assistant coaches Martin Raymond (another Mc-Gill grad) and Dan Lacroix from Hamilton. Yzerman also added Julien BriseBois, who was the Canadiens’ point man in dealing with the salary cap. BriseBois had a prior working relationship with Boucher because he served as the Bulldogs’ general manager.
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
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He’s not the youngest player on the roster, nor would he be considered a shocking contributor after last season’s 21-goal, 40-point showing but Brandon Sutter is most certainly a key piece to any Carolina Hurricanes success this year and his two-goal performance in Thursday’s season-opening, 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland is an excellent early sign for a club hoping for a lot to go their way in 2010-11.
For the Hurricanes, banking on both young guns and sustained health and rejuvenation for several veterans who were hobbled last year, a player like Sutter, at 21, serving as an alternate captain and coming off of a breakthrough season a year ago, will play a major role in determining their fortune. So far, so good for Sutter, who played just six seconds less yesterday than Carolina captain Eric Staal and so far, so good for the ‘Canes, who dressed six players 25-and-under in the game and got production from Sutter (two goals), Zac Dalpe (assist) and Jamie McBain (assist), as well as sparkling reviews for 18-year-old forward Jeff Skinner from that group.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+burmistrov, andrew+ladd, anton+babchuk, ben+eager, brandon+sutter, brent+sopel, cam+ward, chad+larose, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, erik+cole, evander+kane, guy+boucher, jamie+mcbain, jeff+skinner, joni+pitkanen, jussi+jokinen, khl, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, nhl+premiere, niclas+bergfors, semyon+varlamov, steve+yzerman, tim+gleason, tuomo+ruutu, zac+dalpe, zach+bogosian
Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.
Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.
But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.
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In a summer that has been, at the very least, stabilizing (if not downright successful) for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the vast majority of those taking notice of the work done throughout the organization have come away impressed – including the club’s latest addition, Jon Cooper, announced yesterday as head coach of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
“The whole thing that drew me to (the club),” Cooper said, “Was the (positive) attitude and the people they’ve brought in.”
Now, included in that very group, Cooper is well aware of some fortunate timing for the two sides to come together.
“I wanted to go the AHL at some point,” explained Cooper, who leaves his post as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. “I just probably didn’t think it was going to be right this second.”
But now that making that jump is indeed a reality for Cooper, his excitement and enthusiasm cannot be tempered and he gives his new bosses credit for finding him in their search.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, ahl, carter+ashton, dustin+tokarski, green+bay+gamblers, guy+boucher, james+wright, jon+cooper, julien+brisebois, juraj+simek, mark+parrish, mitch+fritz, nahl, norfolk+admirals, richard+panik, ryan+craig, st.+louis+bandits, steve+yzerman, ty+wishart, ushl, vladimir+mihalik
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Guy Boucher’s superb rookie season in as an AHL bench boss earned him an NHL job on Thursday when the Tampa Bay Lightning named the 38-year-old as their new coach during a introductory press conference at St. Pete Times Forum.
Boucher becomes the youngest coach in the NHL—and the second new coach named this week. Columbus hired Scott Arniel on Tuesday, one day after Boucher turned down the job. Atlanta and New Jersey are still without coaches.
Getting the Lightning job caps a meteoric rise for Boucher.
Guy Boucher, who earlier in the day turned down the head coaching job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has accepted the head coaching role with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to Rue Frontenac and CKAC.
Boucher coached the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs this season. At age 38, he would be the youngest coach in the National Hockey League.
The hiring of Boucher comes as the first major decision made by new Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who took over that title on May 25.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Will Guy Boucher be the next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Good question, because there are a number of interesting dynamics at work.
By all accounts, Columbus GM Scott Howson has offered the head coaching position to Boucher, who just finished his first year as a pro coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League.
It’s only a matter of time until Boucher, widely perceived as a rising star in the coaching ranks, makes it to the NHL. Whether it’s with Columbus this week remains to be seen. Columbus wants an answer by no later than Tuesday.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
The Blue Jackets have extended an offer to Guy Boucher to become their next coach, The Dispatch has learned via NHL sources.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson would not comment, but NHL sources said Boucher was pondering an offer this weekend with an agreement to get back with Howson by early next week.