Guy Boucher

Boucher compares Lightning to Alcoholics Anonymous


Interesting piece today from the Tampa Bay Times’ Damien Cristodero in which several Lightning players — Martin St. Louis, Dwayne Roloson, Ryan Malone — copped to not working hard, smart or consistently enough this season.

After getting to within a game of the Stanley Cup finals last year, the Lightning admitted to feeling a sense of “entitlement” (St. Louis’ term, not mine) that’s resulted in an inattention to detail and inconsistent effort.

Hearing his players admit this publicly pleased head coach Guy Boucher.

“It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous,” he told the Times. “Until you say that you’re an alcoholic you can’t make the steps.

“Players maybe felt a sense of entitlement, so it’s good it’s internalized. Before they were being told but it wasn’t internalized. Now they realize where they are.”

Where they are is buried in the Eastern Conference standings. Tampa sits 13th with 37 points, nine back of eighth-place Pittsburgh for the final playoff spot. While nine points isn’t insurmountable, Tampa’s real issue is the number of teams they’ll have to leapfrog: Montreal, Buffalo, Washington and Winnipeg, the latter playing some solid hockey as of late (the Jets are 6-3-1 over their last 10 and have the third-best home record in the East.)

Despite this, St. Louis said the team is still optimistic about its chances of making the postseason.

“All the guys who had success last year are still here,” he said. “We lost a few guys but we still have some key guys here who got it done.

“We’ve got to get on a long run pretty quick.”

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: