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Yzerman on Boucher firing: “This is not a desperate act to make the playoffs”

Mar 24, 2013, 1:44 PM EDT

yzerman tampa

On Sunday, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman addressed the dismissal of head coach Guy Boucher, explaining the move wasn’t a knee jerk reaction — but also saying yesterday’s loss to Ottawa was the tipping point.

“This is not a desperate act to make the playoffs, but that is still our hope to do,” Yzerman said. “After watching last night’s game I knew it needed to be done immediately.”

The Lightning lost 5-3 to the Sens on Saturday, a game in which they started incredibly flat, allowing four goals in a span of 7:51 in the first period.

Yzerman and players were visibly disappointed with the performance.

“It’s hard for the players. It’s hard for the coach. It’s hard for everybody in our organization,” Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times about the disastrous opening frame. “It’s a difficult time.”

“We can’t wait till we’re down to start showing emotion,” Steven Stamkos added. “I’ve got to be better at that. Everyone has to be better at that. We have to start from the puck drop.”

Boucher was fired Sunday morning, just the second coach to be dismissed during the shortened season. Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff was turfed earlier this year.

Boucher leaves Tampa as the organization’s all-time leader for winning percentage (.549) and one of only two coaches to bring the team to the Eastern Conference finals (in 2011; John Tortorella brought them there en route to the 2004 Stanley Cup.)

While Yzerman said this wasn’t a “desperate act” to make the playoffs, he did state a postseason berth is still the club’s primary goal.

“I expect our guys to now do whatever it takes to get us into the playoffs,” he said. “Our players still have a lot to play for.”

And as for when a new coach might be in place?

“I know what I’m doing and I’m trying to get it done,” Yzerman said on Sunday. “Hope to have it done quickly.


Tampa Bay fires Guy Boucher

A look back at Boucher’s roller coaster time with Tampa Bay

Handicapping possible Lightning head coaches

  1. spavs412 - Mar 24, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Gosh that trap against pgh in that playoff run was boring to watch.. He wasn’t a bad coach at all though.

  2. emperorzero - Mar 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Now if the Avs would dump Sacco and hire Boucher, I might be somewhat giddy.

    • govtminion - Mar 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      The changes in Colorado need to happen a lot higher up than the head coaching position- but Boucher would be a nice replacement for Sacco, assuming the Avs actually do something right and clean house.

      • emperorzero - Mar 24, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Oh yeah, they need to blow that whole house up in Denver. No question.

    • georgejarkko - Mar 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Would love nothing more than for Guy to land on his feet. I think a change of scenery will be good for him and the Lightning.

  3. blomfeld - Mar 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM


    If Yzerman has any brains then he’ll get on the phone “right now” and make a deal for Luongo! Coaches are generally overrated in terms of a team’s actual “on ice” performance and so the Bolts should just switch to “auto pilot” for now in terms of a bench boss. But can you imagine what a “happy” Luongo could do for this franchise? I guarantee you that he’d start playing like some “Berlin Wall” and that the Lightning would “immediately” find themselves back in the thick of it. So pick up the phone Yzerman and make that call now!

    ps: don’t ever say that we King’s fans aren’t looking out for you guys eh ? :)

    GO ELVIS !!!

    GO TIGER !!!


    • mathieug79 - Mar 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      I agree with everything you said, the only way we can trade for luongo is if we send a equal contract the other way. I would like to see Lecavalier or Malone go that way, but with both guys on Injured Reserved. I doubt they can be traded. I know both players could help Vancouver in a playoff run if healthy. There is also risk on both sides, Lecavalier has maybe 4-5 years left, Malone has 2 more seasons.

      Before we make a bold trade like that I would like to see Lindy Ruff as our new coach. I think getting Ryan Miller might be a better option with only 1 year left on his contract after this season. But I like luongo and if it mean we can get rid of a big contract, Why not?

      • georgejarkko - Mar 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Miller is allegedy up for grabs, so the Ruff thing could go a long way in the right direction!

      • blomfeld - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Mathieug79 – Don’t kid yourself, as you Bolts could make this happen in a “heartbeat” if you truly wanted to … and you should. The Canucks are just dying to unload Luongo, he himself is just dying to return to the state of Florida and your team needs to “cash in” on some of your “aged” superstars now while they still retain value. St.Louis, Lecavalier, Malone ? … it really doesn’t matter who you send back in return, as I guarantee that he’ll be embraced by Canuckle Nation like the second coming of Christ! As for Luongo “happily” returning to his controller’s area code? … well I could easily see him going on such a rampage, that it might even be better than his best days in Vancouver! The bottom line is that “both” teams need this trade to happen and they need it to happen now.

    • danel18 - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Ya i guess Maclean has had an “overrated” affect on the success of his injury riddles lineup? Why don’t you just look in your own backyard on what affect Sutter had on the kings after replacing Murray. What about Therrien Habs vs Martins Habs. Dude the list goes on what influence and system a coach has on a team.

      • blomfeld - Mar 24, 2013 at 11:01 PM


        and you friend have just named a few, including the likes of Sutter, Therrien and Maclean. Nonetheless, those are still “aberrations” from the norm. By and large, NHL coaches are nothing more than “mannequins in suits” trying to stand there while appearing like that they “know all that” … and I say that’s a load of garbage! In actually game situations, the “real” coach of the team should always be the “on-ice” captain of the team, not some pot-bellied “know it all” decked out in a Harry Rosen suit. Greatness and glory while under fire, are always achieved best when “engaging the enemy” on the subconscious or “instinctive” level, not by “consciously” following the instructions of some “stiff” wearing a silk tie standing on the sidelines! In fact, I would argue that coached shouldn’t even be present at the bench during games. They could easily be replaced with just a simple tape recorder spewing out some “A-B-C” rah-rah motivational gibberish!

        The bottom line is that right now the Bolts need Luongo, not a new coach … and Luongo needs them in a way you can’t imagine!

        NHL COACHES = MANNEQUINS ! … at least for the most part :)

  4. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    I definitely don’t agree “with” blomfelds misuse of “paranthesis”

    • blomfeld - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      That’s “okay” friend … as long as you’re having a “good” time ! :)

  5. 950003cups - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Yzerman on Boucher firing: “This is not a desperate act to make the playoffs”

    Agreed. If it were, this would have happened a month ago.

    • yvrmike - Mar 25, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      Yzee, There was no need to fire the coach, that was a desperate move on you part to make it look like it was the coaches fault.
      But i gotta tell you – I called it at the beging of the year. You signed a couple a back up goalies and were praying that they were going to work out for you BUT NOOOO they didnt.
      So now you gotta pick up the phone and do a liitle begging to get Luongo and Gilles will tell you what he wants from you. If you are stubborn about it you may miss the playoffs again next year.
      Why Luongo – because he wants to play in Florida BUT he is NOT demanding out of Vancouver. He is having a ball playing along side Schneider so you gotta pay for the goods buddy.
      Maybe something similar to what Dallas got for Morrow.

  6. kingsforever - Mar 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    From personal experience of playing hockey. A least half of your coaches are faceless and might as well all be named Joe Blow. The other bit are terrible and the last bit are truly something special that makes you play better

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