Keep Guy Boucher’s name in mind if any coaching vacancies come up in the NHL.
At the end of the season, Boucher is leaving his job as head coach of SC Bern in Switzlerland.
“The decision to return to North America at the end of the season is a big relief for me,” Boucher said, per swisshockeynews.ch (via Puck Daddy). “It has been a process within my family over a couple of months. The decision has nothing to do with SCB, where I feel very comfortable, nor with other professional perspectives.”
This past summer, Boucher was reportedly close to becoming the Leafs’ head coach, before Mike Babcock took the job.
Boucher coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for 195 games from 2010-14, compiling a record of 97-78-20. The Bolts came within one game of reaching the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in his rookie year behind the bench.
The Philadelphia Flyers are not a very good team.
They’re better than they played last night versus Colorado, but still, they’re not very good.
This was to be expected. And, frankly, it’s for the best, given the quality of the upcoming draft. The Flyers do have a number of good prospects, particularly on defense. But they could use another blue-chip forward, and guess what, that’s where the strength of the 2016 class lies.
To any frustrated Flyers fans, what you see on the ice this year, that is not going to be your team for long. The entire blue line could be different in a couple of seasons. Up front, R.J. Umberger‘s contract will expire in the summer of 2017, Vincent Lecavalier‘s the summer after. Maybe there’s a way to get rid of those deals sooner, but don’t count on it.
This is where GM Ron Hextall and owner Ed Snider need to stay patient, even if it stinks to be wasting the prime scoring years of Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, and Jakub Voracek. Those three should still be pretty good in a couple of years. And if all (or even most) goes to plan, they’ll have a lot more help.
The New York Rangers may be 11-2-2, and they may have won six in a row. But that doesn’t mean their coach, Alain Vigneault, is 100-percent satisfied with the way his team his playing.
“Our record’s pretty good,” he said after last night’s 3-0 win over Carolina, “but we still have areas that we’re working on, that we need to improve. We’re very aware of that.”
The Rangers only managed 23 shots against the Hurricanes, with 33 allowed. And that wasn’t unusual for the Blueshirts. On the season, they’re averaging 28.5 shots for versus 32.1 against. Only three teams — Florida, Ottawa, and Detroit — have a worse shot differential than that.
Of course, not many teams have a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist.
“Obviously, you need good goaltending to kill off the number of penalties that we had,” said Vigneault, alluding to the six times the Rangers were shorthanded versus the ‘Canes.
With the shutout, Lundqvist’s save percentage improved to .949. Among regular starters, only the Blues’ red-hot Jake Allen (.950) has a higher save rate than that.
But even Lundqvist can’t be expected to maintain that level all season. He finished at .922 last year. His career best is .930.
“We’re like any team in the NHL,” said Vigneault. “You’ve got to get better as the season moves forward, and that’s what we’re going to continue to strive for.”
The Rangers host Allen’s Blues tomorrow.
The San Jose Sharks lost again last night, falling to 3-8-0 in their last 11 with a 4-2 defeat to the Islanders.
Afterward, coach Pete DeBoer put the blame fairly squarely on his two goalies, each of whom, in his opinion, allowed a goal that should’ve been stopped.
“The second and third goals,” he said, “you can give up a bad goal in this league and recover. You can’t give up two bad goals and expect to win.”
The first “bad” goal, against starter Martin Jones, looked like this:
Jones was pulled immediately after that.
The second “bad” goal was scored on Alex Stalock:
With Patrick Marleau trade rumors swirling, the Sharks (7-8-0) start a six-game road trip Friday in Detroit.
Related: Couture ‘making progress,’ but slumping Sharks need answers now
Minnesota defenseman Marco Scandella will miss tonight’s game versus the Jets due to a family matter.
It’s hoped Scandella will be able to rejoin the team on its four-game road trip that starts Thursday in Carolina.
Scandella has two goals and three assists and has logged 20:01 per game in 13 contests this season.
More from the Star-Tribune:
It’s a tough loss for the Wild. Scandella has been great lately, and he was the left-shot coach Mike Yeo and assistant coach Andrew Brunette play in the Zach Parise position (right circle, looking for one-timers and rebounds) on the power play.
Nate Prosser will take Scandella’s spot in the lineup and skate with Christian Folin.
Jason Zucker will reportedly take Scandella’s left-shot role on the PP.