Guy Boucher

Guy Boucher deals Caps some truth: “If they lose this… It’s a huge failure”


While we saw our fair share of verbal jousting in the first round between the Flyers and Sabres regarding a bunch of different things, it’s rare to see a coach’s absolute brute honesty be a source of intrigue.

Such is the case with Lightning coach Guy Boucher in talking about the Washington Capitals. With the Lightning coming into the series as the fifth seed and the Capitals as the top seed in the Eastern Conference, it’s only right and natural to think of the Capitals as the favorites. After all, the Lightning blew their lead in the Southeast Division and the Capitals roared away in the second half of the year to win the division title.

Boucher spoke openly and honestly today about what he thought of the Capitals and how the series shapes up. Greg Schimmel of The Washington Post gets the straight truth from Boucher.

“It’s going to be very, very difficult for us, but we’re up for the challenge,” Boucher said. “I think that’s the idea, is either we see it as a threat or we see it as a challenge and it’s a great challenge for us. And I’m sure it is for them. I know that if they lose this, for them it’s a huge failure. So there’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time comes a lot of energy with pressure. So we’re aware that they’re going to be charging out there.”

Backhanded compliments are the most fun to read. Yes, the Capitals do have a ton of pressure on them to win. They’ve been the top seed in the East two years in a row and when you’re the top team, you’re expected to make the Stanley Cup final. It also puts the focus squarely on Bruce Boudreau to keep up with Boucher and what he does to help his team try to knock off his top seeded Caps.

While there’s hope for the Lightning to make the Eastern final, there are expectations in Washington that they’ll get there and beyond. Boucher isn’t stirring up any drama by coming right out and saying it so much as he’s pointing at and yelling about the elephant in the room.

The Lightning have exceeded expectations this season by leaps and bounds and getting the chance to knock off the Caps and make their offseason a really difficult one is a role they should relish. They’ve done it to Pittsburgh already and giving it to their divisional rivals would make things that much sweeter.

Leafs prospects Nylander and Kapanen heading to AHL

William Nylander
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The Toronto Maple Leafs trimmed their training camp roster by 16 players on Sunday.

Two of the Leafs’ top prospects, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, are heading to the the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

For the full list of cuts, click here.

Nylander was Toronto’s first round pick, eighth overall, in 2014.

The 19-year-old scored an impressive 14 goals and 32 points in 37 games with the Marlies in 2014-15.

Kapenen, 19, was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.

He had one goal and one assist in a brief four game stint with Pittsburgh’s farm team last season.

The rebuilding Maple Leafs have no issue being patient with their top young prospects. Both players could make their NHL debut at some point this season, but they may have to wait a little while longer before they become regulars at the next level.

The Leafs now have 24 players on their training camp roster. They have until Tuesday to put the finishing touches on their lineup. Toronto needs to cut at least one more player.

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”