Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher calls team meeting about poor play vs. basement dwellers

RALEIGH, N.C. — Coach Guy Boucher remains baffled about why the Lightning has lacked the necessary urgency in losses to teams at the bottom of the standings.

But Boucher made clear in a team meeting Saturday morning the harsh reality that could await it if it doesn't change.

"I don't care if we win against the top teams. If we lose against the teams that don't make the playoffs, we're not going to make the playoffs," Boucher said. "There's 24 points that are coming up that are against teams that right now are probably not going to make the playoffs. If we lose these games, that's 24 points. We don't make the playoffs.

"I think I might have shocked them a little bit (Saturday), because that's the reality. Right now it's going well for the team in general. The reality is, it can turn around in two seconds if we don't show up."

Boucher pointed out that the Southeast Division-leading Lightning has little margin for error, and that has been shown in its 1-4-4 performance against the Devils, Islanders, Oilers, Flames and Panthers, all near or at the bottom of the league.

"We realize that we're not a powerhouse at all, by any means," Boucher said. "When you look at (Philadelphia's) lineup, that's a powerhouse. We're an extremely hard-working team that's gotten everything we've gotten from our work ethic and because we want it more than the opponents. So any day that we don't want it as much as the opponent, we're going to lose."

Boucher said the responsibility falls on every player. "We know we can do it," RW Steve Downie said. "We've proved we can do it. We've just go to do it consistently. When we play a lower-standing team, we can't take it lightly. We've got to be ready to go right from the start. We can't take a period to get into it, two periods to get into it, or we're not going to win the game."

'Wrong guy': Frustration boiled for star C Steven Stamkos in the final two minutes of Saturday's 6-4 loss to the Hurricanes. He was handed a 10-minute misconduct after arguing a holding penalty called on him.

"I don't know if the ref had a phantom call or got the wrong guy, but I know 100 percent I did not hold or touch anyone," Stamkos said. "I skated my (behind) off to get back and put my stick out, extended it, got the stick on the puck and get a penalty for holding. Either he made up a call or got the wrong guy. Obviously I was frustrated because I didn't do anything wrong."

Switch it up: Boucher switched up his lines, putting Downie, Stamkos and Simon Gagne together, as well as Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and Ryan Malone. The combos worked pretty well, with Gagne picking up two goals and Stamkos scoring for the second straight game.

MEDICAL MATTERS: D Mike Lundin and C Nate Thompson were expected to be game-time decisions Saturday. They were a little banged up after blocking shots in Friday's loss to the Devils, but both played. Lundin started.

Odds and ends: RW Teddy Purcell and D Matt Smaby were healthy scratches.

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher calls team meeting about poor play vs. basement dwellers 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.