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.
Yesterday, we passed along news of Tampa Bay goalie Anders Lindback suffering a lower-body injury during a 4-2 loss to the Leafs, forcing him out of the contest.
Today, Lindback’s diagnosis was revealed — and it’s not good.
The Swedish netminder will be out for an undetermined length of time with a high ankle sprain and is headed to injured reserve.
The news is tough for Tampa Bay on two fronts.
One, the goaltending front, as Lindback has played well of late, winning three straight games while allowing just five goals.
Two, the injury front.
The Bolts are beat up beyond belief at the moment. Captain Vincent Lecavalier is out with a broken foot and power forward Ryan Malone (shoulder) has been placed on IR for the second time this season.
Benoit Pouliout is still shelved with a sprained right shoulder and the team’s other goalie, Mathieu Garon, was activated from IR (lower body) just eight days ago.
According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, head coach Guy Boucher is “leaning toward” starting Garon in both games this weekend — Saturday in Ottawa, Sunday in Winnipeg — though it’s possible AHL call-up Cedrick Desjardins could see some action as well.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback was asked to replace Mathieu Garon in the second period of Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, except for one problem.
Lindback allowed one goal – Nikolai Kulemin’s fourth of the season just before the midway point of the second period – and then had to come out of the game a short time later.
It turns out Lindback, 24, suffered a lower-body injury and is now listed as day-to-day, according to a tweet from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.
The injury situation in Tampa Bay continues to get worse.
Earlier in the day, the Lightning placed left winger Ryan Malone on injury reserve for the second time this season.
He joins Vincent Lecavalier, who is out with a fracture in his left foot.
The Lightning have won three of their last five games, however they still sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings and five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.