Guy Boucher enjoys return to Tampa
Former Lightning coach Guy Boucher stepped in Amalie Arena Thursday for the second time since his firing four years ago.
Boucher said his first trip back was during the Lightning's Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Red Wings. In town to sell his house, Boucher sat in the stands. Now that, he said, was strange.
But now, as Boucher comes in with the Senators, it's a more calmer, positive feeling.
“It’s been four years, really, when you look at it," Boucher said. "I wouldn’t say it was a rush of emotion. It was such a great experience, it was so positive, socially, here with the people in the building. Besides the fact that you were fired, I left with unbelievable memories, how well I was treated. So, to me, coming back, it just brings a great smile to be back here. It brings back all positive stuff for me."
Boucher's Senators are in second place in the Atlantic Division, a team the Lightning is chasing. While Tampa Bay has fallen below its preseason Stanley Cup favorite hype, Boucher is still a believer.
"This team is for sure for me a Stanley Cup contender," Boucher said. "It was and it is and at any moment now their surge is going to happen. We’re certainly not going to let our guard down. You look at this lineup. This lineup is stacked. Whether Stammer is there or not. You look at the names there. You look at the speed and the skill, the depth. It’s all there. Last year, it was a tough start, and all of sudden they’re surging and they’re outstanding again ...You look right now, they play great, but they’ve lost a few games, but at any moment they could be winning six, seven, eight games in a row and we’ll go Oh, that’s the team. I still think they’re Stanley Cup contender, big time."
More from morning skate: G Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in net, his third in the last four games... Associate coach Rick Bowness praised rookie defenseman Jake Dotchin, saying he's been surprised how well he's adapted to the NHL game. Bowness said Dotchin will get some penalty kill time tonight... It appears Andrej Sustr could be a healthy scratch, as he was one of the last players off the ice at the optional skate. That could mean Luke Witkowski would draw in... Michael Bournival (upper body) participated in the skate in a red no contact jersey. He's missed the last two games. Bournival wouldn't disclose if he had a concussion, but said he's feeling better..