Jan 30, 2013, 12:33 PM EST
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won four straight and are off to one of the best starts in franchise history.
“A huge impact,” he told the Tampa Bay Times in describing the additions of Salo and Carle. “What they do is solidify pairings, not what they do individually.
The two were acquired by GM Steve Yzerman in July, and cost a pretty penny.
Carle, 28, inked a six-year, $33 million deal while Salo, 38, signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal — one that comes with additional risk of being a guaranteed cap hit, because of his over-35 designation.
Salo currently leads the NHL in plus-minus (+10) and all Tampa blueliners with five points through six games.
Carle leads the team in time on ice (23:01) and has 1G-2A-3PTS through six games.
Yet individual statistics don’t tell the whole story. By bringing the two aboard, other defensemen have been put in positions to succeed — most notably Victor Hedman.
Salo is Hedman’s new defense partner, providing the young Swede with a veteran presence on the back end. As a result, Hedman is now second to Salo in d-man scoring.
“When you look at Heddy,” Boucher said, “he needed an older guy to give him a chance to go on offense without having to worry what’s going to happen back [on defense.]”
Tampa can now confidently go eight deep on defense — Keith Aulie, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Brendan Mikkelson and Brian Lee have all played this season — and primed to replicate its success of two years ago, when the Bolts were one win away from the Stanley Cup final.
- Leafs scoring slump hits historical low 11
- Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist takes puck to the neck 3
- Zamboni driver arrested for DUI, allegedly cleaned ice surface while drunk 13
- Mike Richards trying to make the best of being sent to the AHL 9
- Price leads Habs past Caps with second straight shutout 8
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 5
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 27
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 61
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4