Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Boyle's Lightning legacy extends beyond Cup

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dan Boyle sat for a moment Thursday at his locker and pondered it is almost 10 years since he won the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Lightning.

"It seems so fast to me," he said finally. "It kind of flew by."

But Boyle, in his fifth season with the Sharks, said he is not one to appreciate the accomplishment more with time because he so appreciated it when it happened: "I knew how hard it was not only to make it in the NHL but to play and to win."

But Boyle's legacy with Tampa Bay goes beyond the championship. His shadow hovers over the franchise more than most because the Lightning, since it traded Boyle to San Jose on July 4, 2008, has not been able to find a puck-moving defenseman to take his place. Marty St. Louis, the only Tampa Bay player left from the Cup team, chuckled when asked how much Boyle's absence has been felt.

"Yeah, we've had a tough go overall since then," St. Louis said before Tampa Bay and the Sharks played at the SAP Center. "He just brought so much stability back there, and poise. That was a tough transaction to see happen, especially for a guy like myself on the inside that knew how much he meant to the team and my game. We've missed him for many years."

Boyle, 37, has been invaluable to the Sharks as well. Since the 2008-09 season, his first with San Jose, his 242 points lead all league defensemen. He is the quarterback on the power play. Teammate Brad Stuart calls him "huge for us. He's still one of the better defensemen in the league."

But Boyle faces a challenge as he comes back from a concussion sustained Oct. 15, when he was knocked unconscious by a from-behind hit by Blues center Maxim Lapierre. Boyle's jaw smashed into the spot where the glass and end boards meet. He was taken off on a stretcher and did not skate for 10 days.

Boyle entered Thursday with four goals and seven points in eight games since his return, but coach Todd McLellan said he still was trying to find his game. "He's a confident individual who competes hard, and when that confidence erodes, it takes a little bit of his game with him. He's getting it back, a very important piece."

"The concussion was a setback," Boyle said. "But other than that, I felt really good."

Despite bitterness over the trade, he feels the same about his time with the Lightning. He still has a condo in Clearwater Beach.

"We kind of surprised people," Boyle said of winning the Cup. "But our locker room believed in ourselves, and different guys came through on different nights, just a team effort."

Comments
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the Capitals.Ge...
Updated: 8 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Published: 05/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightningís season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightningís season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18