Guy Boucher Getty

Boucher on slumping Bolts: ‘We have to find a way not to sabotage ourselves’


The Tampa Bay Lightning are just 3-10-1 over their last 14 and now sit 13th in the Eastern Conference, a startling fall for a team that started the year 6-1-0, outscoring opponents 37-18.

Head coach Guy Boucher is trying to stay positive during the slump, but also wants to keep it real (so to speak).

Specifically, by telling his troops they’re keeping themselves from being successful.

“We have to find a way not to sabotage ourselves,” Boucher told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “Because that’s what we have been doing and it’s hard because I would love to be able to teach some of that stuff but they are just decisions at moments that cost us.”

The Lightning have failed to earn a point over their last four games, a stretch that’s coincided with Mathieu Garon taking the starting goalie gig from Anders Lindback.

Garon has been the goalie of record in Tampa Bay’s last five games, due in large part to the inexperienced Lindback learning on the job — a process that’s come with some bumps and bruises.

“[Lindback] has to go through the process,” Boucher told the Tribune prior to making the switch to Garon. “You can’t buy a process, because if you buy the process, everybody would be great. It’s just the process of time and experience, it’s mistakes, it’s correcting and it’s preparation.

“That’s what it is, right now for him he’s going through the exact process all young goalies have to go through.”

Looking ahead, the next two weeks could make or break Tampa’s season entirely. The last real solid homestand of the season begins on Mar. 7 — the Bolts play five of six at home from the 7th to 18th.

That’s important, because the Lightning will play eight of their final 13 regular season games on the road.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.