Tampa Bay Lightning fans remember Atlanta's Eric Boulton as the guy who cheap-shotted defenseman Paul Ranger in an October 2005 game and was suspended six games for his trouble. After that game, then-coach John Tortorella said Boulton should be playing in the ECHL. Well, Boulton is back on the Lightning's radar after a knee-to-knee hit with center Nate Thompson late in the third period of Wednesday's 2-1 shootout victory.
"It was awful," Thompson said Thursday after watching a replay. "I mean, I'm by the guy. You can see on the replay he purposefully puts his knee out and barely misses with an elbow, too. I'm not really too surprised. Eric Boulton, not the best player in the world. He's got to compensate for sticking his knee out when I'm by him with 10 seconds left in the game."
Thompson sat out Thursday's practice with what he said was body maintenance and will be good to go Saturday against the Sabres. But coach Guy Boucher said Thompson's left knee is hyper-extended and the high-energy center is questionable.
"He's a warrior and he's going to say yes, but I'll wait to see what the doctors say," Boucher said.
Boulton was not called for a penalty in a game poorly officiated by Paul Devorski and Frederick L'Ecuyer, both of whom also missed blatant high sticks to the faces of Adam Hall and Marty St. Louis.
"I don't know what else you have to do to get a call there," Thompson said of his incident. "I just think there was a lot of inconsistency (Wednesday) night."