Make us your home page
Instagram

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 predicts 'the smallest detail' will matter vs. Boston Bruins

TAMPA — It is uncanny the similar paths the Lightning and Bruins followed this season.

Both had 46-25-11 regular-season records for the same 103 points. Both fell behind by two games in their first-round playoff series. Both swept their second-round opponents.

So, when the teams meet in the Eastern Conference final, Lightning coach Guy Boucher predicted low-scoring games decided by "the smallest detail."

"One thing for sure," Boucher said, "it's going to be a war out there."

"They're a big, physical team," center Nate Thompson said. "They have big (defense), but at the same time they can do a little bit of everything. We know we have our work cut out for us."

The work for Tampa Bay began Sunday at the St. Pete Times Forum, where the team skated for the first time since Wednesday, when it finished its four-game sweep of the Capitals.

The 60-minute practice began with simple skating and passing exercises and continued with drills to activate the legs.

The plan is to increase the intensity so players peak when the series begins either Thursday or Saturday in Boston.

"Break time," Boucher said, "is over."

Tampa Bay's biggest concern is not that Boston will try to intimidate physically, especially at TD Garden. Nor is it 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman Zdeno Chara, or, as wing Marty St. Louis put it, "They attack with five and defend with five."

It is goaltender Tim Thomas, the Vezina Trophy finalist whose 2.03 goals-against average in the playoffs and .937 save percentage are second to the 2.01 and .941 of Tampa Bay's Dwayne Roloson.

"He's making everybody scratch their heads about what to do," Boucher said, "including myself."

That Boston is expected to be without concussed center Patrice Bergeron, who has a team-high 12 points and is a mainstay on the penalty kill, doesn't change Tampa Bay's plan, Boucher said.

"They still have all the tools to be a lethal team."

Besides, he added, "We're expecting everybody to play. I know Bergeron supposedly has a concussion, but he's got a lot of time to get back. I'm expecting him to be back, so we're expecting them to have their full team. We're not hoping for anything to go wrong with them for us to do well. If that's the case, we shouldn't be here."

Boucher pointed out many predict the Bruins will win.

"We know people are not giving us much of a chance," he said. "We hear it everywhere. But we weren't supposed to get a chance in the first or second series either. Our guys battle."

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher predicts 'the smallest detail' will matter vs. Boston Bruins 05/08/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 8, 2011 11:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four-time Iditarod champ implicated in dog doping case, pulls out of 2018 race

    Sports

    A doping scandal has rocked yet another sport — this time, the competition that calls itself the "Last Great Race on Earth" — the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

    Dallas Seavey poses with his lead dogs Reef, left, and Tide after finishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, in March 2016. Four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey denies he administered banned drugs to his dogs in this year's race, and has withdrawn from the 2018 race in protest. The Iditarod Trail Committee on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, identified Seavey as the musher who had four dogs test positive for a banned opioid pain reliever after finishing the race last March in Nome. [Associated Press]
  2. Bucs: Quick and easy fixes for what ails Tampa Bay?

    Bucs

    The Bucs are 2-4 and have lost five straight road games, so there's plenty to fix. What's the quickest and easiest fix for coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay? The Times' Bucs coverage team weighs in:

    PLAY A COMPLETE GAME

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  4. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times