Now that Guy Boucher is out as the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach, looking back at his two-and-a-half years there shows the kind of wild roller coaster ride he had in Florida.
His first season as coach of the Bolts saw him lead the team to 46 wins and 103 points while finishing second in the Southeast Division to the Washington Capitals. In the playoffs, however, Boucher made his mark taking the Lightning to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins losing a 1-0 heartbreaker with 41 year-old goalie and mid-season acquisition Dwayne Roloson nearly taking them to the Stanley Cup finals.
Despite the work Boucher did in leading the Lightning that season, his first as a head coach in the NHL, he was not a finalist for the Jack Adams Award. Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma would take home the award that season only to see the Penguins ousted by Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs in seven games.
The following season saw the Lightning regress. Roloson aged another year and didn’t improve and Mathieu Garon wound up with the bulk of the starts. While Steven Stamkos poured in 60 goals, it wasn’t enough to get Tampa Bay back to the playoffs as the team finished with 38 wins and 84 points, good for third in the Southeast and tied with Winnipeg for 10th in the East.
This season, Boucher wasn’t able to lead the team out of the doldrums from last season thanks to more of the same problems. Poor goaltending, poor defense, and a lack of scoring depth saw him bringing aboard more players from the AHL to try and turn things around. After going 13-17-1 he’s now out of a job.