What The Tampa Bay Lightning Does Not Need To Change


Coach Boucher and Cpt. Vincent Lecavalier talk during a game Taken by: Dolly Dolce

Rumors, rumors. All it takes is for someone to say one thing and for someone else hear it, and it can spread like a wild fire. I admit that I was shocked when an out of state friend sent me a text at 2:30 to inform me of the press conference that the Tampa Bay Lightning had scheduled today at 3:45 to confirm the firing of head coach Guy Boucher. Don’t panic, it wasn’t true. But do you see what I did there? That’s how these things start!

I was awaken by a text from my husband at work telling me that it appeared that Coach Boucher was ‘in the hot seat’. He said that there was an article on SI.com by Stu Hackel that featured his picture and mentioned that. I had so much to do that I had to take his word for it. I jumped out of bed with a worry started, hoping it wasn’t true, but had to go about my day. I was listening to my new favorite sports station in Tampa 98.7 The Fan (Which has former Lightning great Chris Dingman on the morning show) and the afternoon crew were only talking NASCAR and golf. At least at the times when I was in my truck. Then the brick wall hit me in the afternoon when I was waiting for my twins to get out of school and a text pops up from a friend who lives up north: Lightning press conference at 3:45. Rumor is Boucher is on the hot seat. WDAE will carry conference. Then I received another text from a friend who lives in Canada: OMG OMG Dolly tell me it’s not true!! They are firing Boucher??!! Everyone is saying that Yzerman has Boucher on his chopping block!!! Keep me posted!! -wow. I just about had a mini panic attack there.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Coach Boucher. I respect him. I don’t have a favorite player, per say, Coach is my ‘favorite’ on the team. Not just because he might possibly be the best looking coach in the league, not because he is the nicest human being that I have ever met, not even because he has the whole International Spy James Bond meets Chuck Norris suave yet ruggedness with the legend that he fights bears before every game to get himself pumped up factors. I adore the man because of his character. He is strong in his faith. He doesn’t flaunt it, but he doesn’t hide it either. He expects morals and character from his players, and has a class that sets far apart from any coach that the team has ever had. I’m not saying that the other coaches were classless. Coach Boucher is like the Tony Dungy of hockey. As he would say, his work ethic and relentless.

I turned on 620 AM WDAE and caught Steve Deumig the ‘Big Dog’ going off on one of his hour long tantrums about this article. I didn’t hear the beginning. You know how you come into the middle of a conversation and it can sound like something completely different? Well, that happened to me. His words added to my losing-Coach-Boucher-anxiety. I picked up on “Steve Yzerman having his head coach in the hot seat is ridiculous’ ‘why would he fire the head coach when the team is tied for first in the division?’ and a few other statements. Then, finally, I breathed a sigh of relief when he said that he wanted to make it clear that the article wasn’t a rumor, it was a joke and that Guy Boucher’s job is not in jeopardy.

Then I slapped myself mentally. I never let myself fall prey to rumors!! If it’s not by a credible source, then don’t believe it!! No matter how much I trust the person who tells me things, if I don’t hear it from Erik Erlendsson or from the Lightning themselves, then I don’t believe it. Ever. I guess this just caught me so off guard today, mixed with the fact that I had a million things to catch up on from my back being out, that I was running ragged my mind was out of whack. Then I realized that there was no press conference. I’d of been informed of it. I checked my email, and nothing. So I slapped myself mentally twice. Then I mentally slapped my husband and two friends who sent me those texts. Then I mentally slapped my son just because he was sitting next to me. It was fun.

Finally I got home around 5pm and I was able to pull the article up. There wasn’t a picture of Coach Boucher. Perhaps it was just on the phone app that my husband saw (which is another mental slap, I could have read it on my phone) or perhaps Mr. Hackel changed the picture. Then come to find out that he mentioned several teams and what they needed to change. This is what he had to say about the Tampa Bay Lightning:

"Tampa Bay LightningThere have been rumblings for a while that GM Steve Yzerman, whose team took a step backwards last season, is no longer enamored with coach Guy Boucher. There’s no saying how accurate that talk is, but Yzerman rebuilt the Lightning’s defense and got a decent goalie, so should Tampa Bay not qualify for the playoffs or if he feels the season is in danger of going down the drain, Yzerman might make a change. He would have some options with both Ruff (a Team Canada 2010 cohort) available and highly-touted Jon Cooper continuing his successful work with Tampa Bay’s AHL club. -Stu HackelRead More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20130222/nhl-coaches-gms-on-hot-seat/#ixzz2LywXFK14"

Well there ya go. “There’s no saying how accurate that talk is, but…” -then why write about it? If I write about something, it’s either backed up factually by a credible source, or I make it clear that it is my opinion and nothing more. How about addressing the real issues. It’s not about Coach Boucher. His systems have been proven to work. Maybe there needs to be a change in goal tending coaching. Maybe there needs to be a change in the goal tender. Maybe there needs to be a change in the defense. Heck, maybe there needs to be a change to shake up the offensive core. There can be blame placed in all positions. They have to work together as a team. get the chemistry flow going, and they have the tools to be unstoppable.

As John Tortorella said, to fire a coach is like telling the players that they are off the hook for a job incomplete.

Dolly Dolce