Last night’s Lightning 7-2 loss against the San Jose Sharks as recapped here & here, was not the Bolts best by any stretch of the imagination. As a fan, I went through a range of emotions which culminated in the 3rd period as tired resignation and a concerted effort in finding humor as much as possible. The 1st period had me more in a fiery, “no way these guys are going to quit before they start” sort of mood (I went full-on “Torts” on Twitter, as in “Grand Central Station of F bombs”), but that soon lulled itself into a “well, if you’re going to go down, go down fighting” fan frame of mind.
One subject I’ve seen arise here and there on the “interwebs” over the last couple of weeks has been the question of whether or not Bolts head coach Guy Boucher should remain in his stead as the Lightning’s bench boss. To me (and at least a couple of the Bolts By The Bay family), I don’t believe this question is relative to the struggles of this year’s Tampa Bay Lightning squad thus far.
Here’s something from Kevin Oklobzija of DemocratandChronicle.com that includes thoughts on how coaches get dumb fast. The Martin Biron story alone is worth the read, but describing the “reverse” in Couch Boucher’s abilities without including a single mention of key players being out for stretches at a time, the fact that the Lightning have openly admitted often that they “overachieved” last year and the disproportionate number of road games at the start of the season is one reason why all of us should be very careful about how much stock we put into what we read.
Of course, there are always the chat boards. I felt I should include this simply because the Bolts …”should have beatin Boston.” This is the proclamation of a Leafs fan titled “Toke,, Toke,,” I’m convinced. Are’t you? Plus, it gives me some amusement reading the progression of the discussion and how much of it meanders far from the actual subject. I take it most folks with comments just don’t have an opinion as to whether or not Guy Boucher is the next NHL coach on the chopping block. I did learn, however, that there are no shortage of photoshopped images of Boucher to share. Some people have a lot of extra time on their hands. While others use their creativity and sense of humor to make Boucher look a little like a thoughtful Speed racer. (The orange cone bit got old many years ago though)
It’s important that I bring up the idea that some hockey fans feel that the 1-3-1 is a disgrace to good hockey and therefore, Boucher should be banished to the darkest regions of Nowhereville for instituting this concept on NHL ice. I’m not sure this person has an awareness that the Hockey Gods aren’t big fans of outright hate for the 1-3-1, but if you read this post on BleacherReport.com, you might conclude that Mike Milbury isn’t fairing so well after openly expressing his hatred for the 1-3-1 on national television.
There aren’t a mass of people openly calling for Guy Boucher’s job as far as I have seen, but there have been a few. My statement to those few is blunt and simple. You are the few too many. Take a good listen to Coach Boucher. Process how he assesses each situation and understands the complex dynamics that play into every decision he makes and NHL hockey. I don’t think you’ll find a good argument to justify Guy Boucher doing anything but what he’s doing right now, his job. There may be plenty that needs to be addressed with regard to Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, but the question, in my mind, is not a’to Guy or not to Guy”. That’s for sure.
The Bolts are in Colorado preparing to take on the Avalanche tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern. To get a look at the competition, be sure to head over to Mile High Sticking before the puck drops in Denver. Go Bolts!
As I’m sure the rest of the Bolts Nation feels, it was very good to see Martin St. Louis back in action and able to play alongside his boys yet once again last night in San Jose. It wasn’t surprising that #26 stretched some twine before exiting the Shark Tank either. In case you don’t appreciate Marty to the fullest extent possible, check this out! Those trees of a pair of legs don’t just grow themselves!
Follow and contact me on Twitter @creasesinger and be sure to follow @BoltsByTheBay to keep up with all the Tampa Bay Lightning fan thoughts. Visit my personal blog Singing From the Crease too! Happy holidays.