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Tampa Bay Lightning's Guy Boucher not finalist for coach of the year

WASHINGTON — In a bit of a surprise, Lightning coach Guy Boucher is not a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL's top coach.

Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma, Nashville's Barry Trotz and Vancouver's Alain Vigneault were named in a vote by the NHL Broadcasters Association. The winner will be announced June 22.

Boucher, who led Tampa Bay to its first playoff berth in four years, said he was not disappointed.

"I'm so happy Steve is nominated," he said of Steve Yzerman's nomination for GM of the year. "I'm happy we have players who are nominated. That's most important to me."

"For us, we know what he's meant to this team and how he's brought the winning way," said W Marty St. Louis, a finalist for league MVP. "I don't think he needs a trophy to feel respected by his players. It would have been nice, but that's not going to change how we appreciate the hard work he puts in and what he does for the team."

Boucher, 39, in his first NHL season, guided the Lightning to 103 points, second in team history and 23 more than 2009-10.

Bylsma was rewarded for leading the Penguins to a 106-point season without, for the most part, stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Trotz was nominated for his success with a small-market playoff team, and Vigneault led the Canucks to a league-best 117 points.

"I can't comment on the other coaches," Lightning D Randy Jones said. "But I think any coach in the league would take the job that (Boucher) has done to turn this team around. He's been great on and off the ice with the guys, teaching and being positive. He's definitely turned this organization around."

SEEING STAMKOS: The numbers were not overwhelming — two goals, four points in seven games against Pittsburgh — but Boucher said C Steven Stamkos is better understanding the intensity of the playoffs.

"A deer in the headlights those first few games," Boucher said. "But I was really impressed by him learning fast. Last games he was paying the price, going to the net, backchecking, doing all the little things that we want to see in a winner, not a star."

Friday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Capitals, Stamkos scored the winner, had four shots and won eight of 13 faceoffs.

LOST: Minor-league player Johan Harju apparently has signed with Lulea in Sweden. Tampa Bay said it has no confirmation, but the Lulea website is touting the signing. Harju, 24, had 23 goals, 53 points in 63 games for AHL Norfolk, which he represented in the AHL All-Star game. But he never looked comfortable in short stints with the Lightning, for which he had a goal and three points in 10 games while averaging 8:28 of ice time.

ODDS AND ENDS: RW Steve Downie leads the Lightning with nine points on two goals, seven assists. … F Dana Tyrell is nursing a left-foot injury sustained when he was hit by a puck during a practice in Pittsburgh. … Forwards Mike Angelidis and Marc-Antoine Pouliot and D Mathieu Roy were recalled from Norfolk, which lost a first-round playoff to Penguins affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. … Forwards Blair Jones and Mattias Ritola, defensemen Randy Jones and Matt Smaby, and G Dustin Tokarski also were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Guy Boucher not finalist for coach of the year 04/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 30, 2011 1:39am]

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