Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher: game with the Bruins in Boston is not about revenge
The thing about seeking revenge, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher said, is it takes your mind away from the task at hand. Just look what happened Thursday night to the Hurricanes. Carolina talked openly about getting "payback" from Tampa Bay for ending the Hurricanes' 2010-11 playoff hopes. The Lightning won 5-1.
"It doesn't help your team at all," Boucher said.
That is why the coach is preaching his players not make the same mistake tonight against the Bruins, which eliminated the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final with a 1-0 win in Boston.
"Right now, it's all about Boston today," Boucher said. "It’s not about Boston last year. Its not revenge today. We’re a different team. They’re a different team. If today is our revenge, that’s a pretty pale revenge, let me tell you. Revenge in a game at the beginning of the year versus a game that gets you to the Stanley Cup, no. For us, it’s a game in which we play a very very good team."
Changes from Thursday include Mathieu Garon taking over in net and Tom Pyatt going in for Blair Jones. Boucher stressed Jones did nothing wrong. But with 14 forwards on the roster, Boucher wants to rotate players in so they do not get stale.
"We don't want to have good players not play for a long time," Boucher said. "Pyatt deserves a game and (Mattias) Ritola eventually too. Sometimes we'll have good players come out of the lineup."
Other stuff from the morning: Jones said he took seven stitches on his left eyelid from a high stick during the first period of the Carolina game. He said it is making him think about sticking with the face shield he wore the rest of the game. "My mom's all over me," he said. ... Vinny Lecavalier, who scored against the Hurricanes with a baseball swing on a rebound that popped into the air said he played some baseball until he was about 14. Pitcher and shortstop, he said. In other words the swing at the puck was not just a hope and prayer. "It was floating there like it was on a tee," Lecavalier said. ... Defenseman Victor Hedman against the Hurricanes took a great first step in becoming the kind of player Boucher envisions. Hedman had three shots and three blocks and was as solid as they come, the coach said. "He was outstanding. He wasn’t good, he was outstanding. He was everywhere. His gap was early and hard. He's so fast to turn it on and get pucks, his reach and he was physical. Stick on puck first and body second when he separates the player from the puck. He looked like a star out there." ... Garon is 3-1-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .947 save percentage against the Bruins, who are expected to go with Tukkaa Rask in net. ... Rookie Brett Connolly, 19, said his first NHL regular-season game taught him a valuable lesson. The speed of the game is greater than he expected and he has to be more aware of positioning in the defensive zone. But Boucher did not seem overly concerned. "He gets a little bit more leeway than the other guys when he makes mistakes," Boucher said. "We cant expect him to know what all the other guys have learned though the entire year last year. To expect a junior kid to come in and learn all that in a couple of weeks would be unrealistic."