Skip to content

Bolts coach Boucher: Salo, Carle have made “huge impact” on team

Jan 30, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

SamiSalo

The Tampa Bay Lightning have won four straight and are off to one of the best starts in franchise history.

Most will point to the play of the “Big Three” — Steve Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, recently named the NHL’s third star of the week — as the reason for said success.

But according to head coach Guy Boucher, it’s a pair of free agent defensemen: Matt Carle and Sami Salo.

“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.

Latest Posts
  1. Dmitry Orlov (wrist) ready after missing 2014-15

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:46 PM EDT

    Dmitry Orlov Getty Images

    He might serve on the Capitals’ third defensive pairing.

  2. Coyotes sign ’15 first rounder Nick Merkley

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Nick Merkley Getty Images

    He was Arizona’s second pick of the draft after Dylan Strome.

  3. Voynov detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    Sep 3, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov AP

    They took him under custody from jail and now he’s awaiting a hearing with an immigration judge.

  4. Calgary presents Ryan Wilson with PTO

    Sep 3, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    Ryan Wilson Getty Images

    Can he find a role with the Flames given their deep blueline?

  5. Interviewer: Raanta’s rooting against Hawks quote is real, but needs context

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:57 PM EDT

    Antti Raanta Getty Images

    “Antti was frustrated after Chicago send him [a] second time [to the] AHL and he told me truly how he felt.”

  6. Caps’ Backstrom won’t rush return from hip surgery

    Sep 3, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom Getty Images

    His availability for the season opener is in doubt.

  7. Seidenberg says trade rumors were ‘a slap in the face’

    Sep 3, 2015, 2:03 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    Bruins d-man is using them as motivation for a bounce-back campaign.

  8. Wild hire ex-Oilers goalie coach Chabot

    Sep 3, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers Headshots Getty Images

    Where he worked with — wait for it — current Minnesota starter Devan Dubnyk.

  9. Flames ‘haven’t been able to find something’ with still-unsigned Ferland

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT

    ferland Getty Images

    In a shocking development, “money and term” are the sticking points.

  10. Ex-NHLer Peat pleads guilty to arson

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:03 AM EDT

    Stephen Peat skates Getty Images

    He could face up to five years in prison.

  11. Report: Pens’ owners seeking $750 million for sale of team

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mario Lemieux Getty Images

    It would mark a record for the sale of a U.S.-based NHL team.

  12. Oilers, Flames AHL affiliates to play outdoor game

    Sep 2, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    gshr_raley

    Bakersfield and Stockton will play in West Sacramento, Calif. on Dec. 18.

  13. Report: Hawks’ Kane has not been asked to waive his no-move clause

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane Patrick Kane

    As many as five teams are reportedly interested in acquiring the 26-year-old.

  14. Wings’ Franzen: ‘I’m excited to try to get back and have a good year’

    Sep 2, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    Johan Franzen Johan Franzen

    The Swede hopes to be cleared of his latest concussion in time for the season opener.

  15. Blackhawks sign Nordstrom to a one-year deal

    Sep 2, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    The 23-year-old appeared in 38 games with Chicago last season.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1864)
  2. P. Kessel (1430)
  3. M. Richards (1221)
  4. N. Backstrom (1132)
  5. M. Giordano (1088)