Archive for the ‘Tampa Bay Lightning’ Tag

So long, Coach.

I just want to write a little bit about Guy Boucher’s apparent departure from Hamilton to Tampa.

It is obviously a big loss for the franchise. Sure, as of today I have coached the exact same number of nhl games as Boucher, but he’s indeed a very promising coach. His departure led some people to lament about the facts that the habs let him go, and that we are now stuck with Martin for the foreseeable future. An article on All Habs, a blog I usually enjoy reading, caught my attention for this reason. You can read it here.

This annoyed me a little, and I’m writing this because as much as I like blaming the habs when things go wrong, I think in this case they can’t really be faulted.

What exactly were they supposed to do?

– They couldn’t give an nhl job to Boucher a year ago. He had not coached in professional hockey so far, so that would have been a huge gamble. Besides, at the time, the habs were clearly looking for a veteran coach, after not so successful attempts with Julien and Carbonneau.

– They can’t offer him a position with the habs now. Say what you want about Martin (and I’m not his most passionate defender), but there is no way the habs fire him now. He got a 4 year contract a year ago (and that would have been the same if the habs had picked another candidate last season: no veteran coach would have accepted a one year deal), and given his profile it would have taken a huge failure to let him go just after one season. The habs did not have a great regular season, far from it. But they did make the playoffs. And then we all know what happened. Martin may have been a bit lucky (although I think he does deserve at least some credit for his team’s performance), but the habs ended up in the final four. They are simply not in a position to make a coaching change right now.

– Offering Boucher an assistant coach job in Montreal now made no sense. Martin and Boucher have very different approaches to coaching, and I don’t think having them work together in Montreal would have been very profitable for either of them, or for the team.

– They couldn’t prevent him from talking to other teams or accepting an nhl job elsewhere. That would obviously be completely counterproductive. If you do that, not only you make sure Boucher will go away as soon as his contract is done, but you also paint yourself as an organization with little respect for its employees.

The habs actually did the right thing. That was a year ago. They managed to lure him into the organization with their ahl team. Then they gave him the best possible environnment to work with, something he repeatedly thanked them for. Then they could just hope that this would be enough to create some sense of loyalty, and to give him enough reasons to stay with the Bulldogs until a position would open in Montreal.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened. Other coaching positions opened in the nhl before, and teams were interested by Boucher. You can’t blame Tampa or Columbus. You can’t blame Boucher. But I don’t think the habs should be blamed either. This is just unfortunate.

I’ll miss your pregame radio interviews with Flandersdude, Coach. Good luck and don’t forget your sun lotion.


Nobody told them…


Oh really!? The regular season has started again? So you mean that one actually counted?? Ooops! Sorry about that…

Posted January 28, 2009 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Vinny Stalkers

Aaaahh, Vincent, Vincent, Vincent… Tu le sais bien, qu’ils ne te lâcheront plus!

Tu sors juste de trois jours de folie à Montréal. Trois jours où tu as du signer 14 000 autographes, trois jours où tu as du répondre 673 fois à des journalistes te demandant à quel point tu serais heureux de jouer pour le Tricolore, trois jours tout au long desquels 21 273 personnes t’ont plus ovationné que les Habs eux mêmes.

Tu arrives à Tampa. Tu poses ta valise. Tu replies ton chandail bleu-blanc-rouge du match des étoiles. Tu ranges l’anorak et les moufles. Tu ressors le short et les tongs (oui, enfin les gougounes si tu préfères…).

Ce matin, tu arrives paisiblement à la patinoire, les lunettes de soleil sur le nez et le café à la main. Il fait beau. Tu es seul. La vie est belle.

“Salut coach! Alors, on joue qui ce soir?”


Et meeeeerde…

Coolest trip of the season


We’re right in the middle of one of my favourite times of the hockey season: the annual habs Florida road trip between Christmas and New Year’s eve. It’s obviously a special period of the year, one associated with family, celebrations, and of course lots and lots of great food. So those games are associated with this in my mind. And because of the holidays, this little road trip always looks meaningless to me. I couldn’t care less if the Canadiens lose both of their games in Miami and Tampa. Watching those games is a bit like watching pre-season hockey. And it’s also fun, because of the way those two arenas are invariably filled with thousands of habs fans living in Florida, or just spending their holidays there. It gives both of those games a funny atmosphere. Those two away games feel like home games because of the crowd, but it’s definitely not the bell center either. And it’s something cool, because it’s kind of  how I feel too when I spend this time of year with my family, instead of being in Paris, where I usually work and live.


Anyway, back to some hockey talk. The habs played a nice little game yesterday, earning a 5-2 win in Miami. Of course, big props go to Max Lapierre, who got his first nhl hat trick. This is a good sign of how his has been improving for the last few weeks. #40 will probably never be a huge offensive threat, but he works hard. Just like Begin, who dropped the gloves yesterday, and Kostopoulos, one of the low profile hard-working type of players I love. Those three guys provide the habs with a lot of energy. They allow Carbo to use 4 lines, which he likes to do, and which was one of the reasons of last season’s good results.

Tonight, le Tricolore will face Tampa. The Lightning is having a nightmarish season, but they beat the habs in Montreal the last time they played each other. I hope the Canadiens keep their good streak alive. They’re playing good these days, and it would be pretty nice to see them continuing to do so until Saku returns. I also hope Tanguay can get back to his early season form soon.

Just beware of Thunderbug, the mean mascot of the Lightning!