Skip to content

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

Jan 30, 2013, 12:33 PM EST

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. Burgled: Sens’ Hammond shuts out Kings

    Feb 27, 2015, 1:16 AM EST

    Andrew Hammond AP

    His shutout streak is now at 172:22.

  2. Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too)

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:31 PM EST

    Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle,Jared Spurgeon,Ryan Carter, Marco Scandella AP

    Nino Niederreiter combined skill and good fortune to help his team win.

  3. Kings place Martinez on IR

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:06 PM EST

    Alec Martinez AP

    Making room for Andrej Sekera.

  4. Video: Predators, Wild exchange high-skill goals

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:30 PM EST

    Craig Smith, Mike Fisher AP

    Nice work from Craig Smith and Nino Niederreiter, respectively.

  5. Bowman: Blackhawks are ‘pretty close’ to making a trade

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:17 PM EST

    Stan Bowman AP

    The possibilities are extensive, it seems.

  6. Mason returns to Flyers fold early as Zepp gets the hook

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:52 PM EST

    Steve Mason Steve Mason

    Two goals on eight shots was enough to inspire a change.

  7. Clarkson is glad to hit ‘reset button’ in Columbus

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:37 PM EST

    David Clarkson AP

    He doesn’t regret signing with Toronto, though he’s welcoming the change.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Wild at Predators on NBCSN

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Nashville Predators v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Minnesota needs this against one of the West’s best.

  9. Firing talk doesn’t bother Bruins’ Julien

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:39 PM EST

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    In other news, it appears as though David Krejci is on LTIR.

  10. Report: NHL investigated alleged Clutterbuck spit on Sedin

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:32 PM EST

    New York Rangers v New York Islanders New York Rangers v New York Islanders

    Canucks requested the league take a closer look, but no evidence was found.

  11. Blackhawks deny rumors of locker room fight

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Head coach Joel Quenneville said it’s “all news to me.”

  12. Trade: Leafs re-acquire Brennan, send Abbott to ‘Hawks

    Feb 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

    Toronto Marlies Getty Images

    A familiar face goes back to the Toronto organization.

  13. Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:39 PM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Sightings In Prague Getty Images

    Bold move from Florida GM Dale Tallon.

  14. Kings to unveil Luc Robitaille statue outside Staples

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:31 PM EST

    2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Six Getty Images

    Joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya.

  15. Welcome back: Blues re-acquire Cracknell from Columbus

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:06 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Former “CPR Line” line member is headed back to St. Louis.

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Krejci (2501)
  2. T. Hall (2172)
  3. B. Wheeler (2153)
  4. R. Nash (2035)
  5. D. Dubnyk (1868)