Will Guy Boucher be the next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets?

There are multiple reports circulating that the Columbus Blue Jackets
have extended an offer to Guy Boucher to be their next head coach.
Boucher is the hot young name among up-and-coming coaches, and led the
Hamilton Buldogs of the AHL to an impressive 52-17-11 record with
Montreal Canadiens affiliate.

That the Blue Jackets have decided
to look to Boucher to be their next coach is no surprise, as he would
instantly bring fresh look to the franchise. At 38, he would be the
youngest coach in the NHL and there is nothing but good things to say
about his future in coaching. Yet there is the question of whether he is
actually ready to take the job and whether the Montreal Canadiens are
willing to let him leave their system.

From TSN’s Bob
McKenzie:

Can the Canadiens really afford to let a
homegrown Francophone product
with some star qualities go elsewhere to ply his trade?
 
Well,
Montreal head coach Jacques Martin isn’t going anywhere, not right now
anyway, just one year into his tenure with the Canadiens.

McKenzie
suggests that perhaps Boucher and current Canadiens assistant coach
Kirk Muller would switch places, providing a promotion for Boucher and
an avenue for Muller to get head coaching experience before eventually
moving back to the NHL.

The
Columbus Dispatch suggests
that it’s not just a matter of whether
the Canadiens are willing to let Boucher get away, but whether he would
actually fit with the personnel they currently have in place.

He has three college degrees and has been called a master motivator, a
team builder and a hockey
genius. He developed a 1-3-1 forecheck that relies on mobile defensemen
who can carry the puck.

This is where the anxiety creeps in. Of the Jackets’ defensemen, only
Kris Russell seems suited
for that, although former first-round draft pick John Moore would, too.
But would it work with Mike
Commodore? It’s hard to picture.

Then again, Howson hoped to rebuild the blue line this summer, so if
Boucher accepts – uh, a
young coach is being offered an NHL job and we have to wonder if he’ll
accept? Boucher’s reluctance
might be the most worrisome part.

Boucher has just one year of head coaching experience, and this could
be a time when a team is hoping to strike gold early. Boucher is on the
fast track to being the next great coach, and the Blue Jackets would
love nothing more than to finally be able to take the next step.

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    WATCH LIVE: Canada-USA (IIHF World Hockey Championship)

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    A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.

    The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.

    PHT Morning Skate: Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    –Here’s a feel-good story. Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom. (Sportsnet)

    –NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire does a lot of traveling during the playoffs. (Sports Illustrated)

    –It sounds like ESPN’s Mike Wilbon isn’t a fan of the Coyotes’ latest front office hire. (ESPN)

    –Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)

    –Former referee Kerry Fraser wants the old charging rule to make a return. (TSN)

    –Hockey is becoming more common in the North Carolina Sports Hall-of-Fame. (Charlotte Observer)

    –Leafs prospect Mitch Marner’s family home caught fire prior to Game 1 of the OHL final. (Sportsnet)

    Video: Predators even series with Sharks after franchise-record triple OT thriller

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    The marathon is over. The Nashville Predators are back in the series.

    The Predators have evened their best-of-seven second-round series with the San Jose Sharks at two-games apiece after Mike Fisher finally broke the deadlock with 8:48 remaining in the third overtime of an instant classic in these 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.

    Fisher buried a rebound in front of the San Jose net to give the Predators a massive 4-3 win on home ice.

    The goal capped off a frenetic (and lengthy) overtime session that was nothing but utter chaos at times in the opening extra frame. By the end, Fisher was almost too exhausted to describe the winner. Can you blame him?

    Twice, the Sharks, who could’ve put the Predators on the brink of elimination with a win, thought they had scored the winner. Joel Ward couldn’t quite bury a wrap-around attempt before just about every player on the ice, it seemed, converged in the Nashville crease — some working to put the puck in the net, others working to keep the puck out.

    The puck, somehow, never crossed the line, though some members of the Sharks raised their arms in celebration as if they had the decisive goal.

    Later in the first OT period, the Sharks again thought they had won the game, only to have a lengthy and controversial review determine Joe Pavelski “…made incidental contact with Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne before the puck crossed the goal line, preventing Rinne from doing his job in the crease,” according to the league.

    Adding to it all, the Predators were unsuccessful on two OT power plays. That opened the door for the Sharks, who were awarded power plays on two Shea Weber penalties in overtime but also couldn’t capitalize.

    The Predators were less than five minutes away from losing this game in regulation, and going down 3-1 in the series, before James Neal tied it with 4:21 remaining.

    ‘We earned it,’ says Spezza after Stars regroup to even series with Blues

    St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) looks on as Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza, second from right, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
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    The Dallas Stars faced the possibility of going home facing elimination. That was the scenario Thursday, as the Stars battled the St. Louis Blues in Game 4.

    The previous game didn’t go well at all for the Stars. They were thumped 6-1, as things turned nasty between the two teams, and, most importantly, they fell behind in the series. There were serious questions surrounding their goalie duo that includes Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. And Tyler Seguin was ruled out for Game 4.

    Yes, things weren’t working in favor of the Stars.

    But after a poor start in the opening period Thursday, the Stars fought back with Cody Eakin playing the unlikely overtime hero in a crucial Game 4 win. And Lehtonen was able to settle in after allowing that Vladimir Tarasenko goal in the opening period, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

    “You really do have to stay level,” Jason Spezza told the Dallas Morning News.

    “It’s the best two-of-three now, it’s momentum swings. We survived some breakaways, and the last two periods we played right and we earned it.”