While I can’t speak from experience, being a head coach for a professional sports team certainly seems like a high-pressure job. It’s especially the case in the NHL, where every coach not named Barry Trotz or Lindy Ruff enjoys job “security” that would fail to impress a temp. (Not to mention the fact that hockey games often come down to lucky bounces and isolated errors.)
By just about all accounts, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher seems like a keeper. After the jaw-dropping flop that was the aborted Barry Melrose era and the not-much-better days of Rich Tocchet, Boucher deserves just as much credit as GM Steve Yzerman for the team’s march toward competency.
Despite the franchise’s noted disinterest in employing enforcers, Boucher still demands respect and … yes, maybe a bit of fear. He looks like a guy who can “take care of himself” even before you notice that spectacular (and mysterious?) scar on his face. Normally the coach is calm, calculated and quotable during press conferences, but a truly special moment happened in Game 3.
Boucher just flat-out lost it when Marc-Andre Bergeron received an unwarranted elbowing penalty after landing a big hit on David Krejci. Here’s a video clip of the hit, with a brief glimpse of Boucher’s reaction.
To be fair to Boucher, his anger was justifiable. It was a bad call that had the potential to put the Lightning in an early 2-0 hole against the Boston Bruins. Thankfully, the situation didn’t get any uglier since Tampa Bay killed the penalty, so we can look back at that bad call as a source of comedy beyond anything else.
Also, since we’re feeling generous, here are two more photos of Boucher’s angry reaction. (All photos via Chris O’Meara of The Associated Press.)