The Warmup - Is it Time for a Coaching Change in Tampa?
Guy Boucher has been at the helm of the Tampa Bay Lightning for almost three years now, and it's gone from good, to bad, to worse. Is it time for them to make a change?
Three years ago, Guy Boucher was one of the hottest young coaching prospects in the American Hockey League. He was at the helm of the Hamilton Bulldogs, leading them to a strong finish thanks to a strong powerplay (led by a young P.K. Subban) and an effective 1-3-1 system. After a trip to the conference finals with the Lightning the next year, he was being hailed as a coaching genius.
But now, thanks to a combination of horrid goaltending, average defense, and a shooting luck regression, his team sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He doesn't seem so hot anymore. Too bad there isn't some young coaching candidate in their system who could come in and save the day.
Oh wait. There is. Jon Cooper has already been interviewed for several NHL head coaching jobs, and for good reason. He's won at every level, and last year led his Norfolk Admirals to an AHL-record 29-game winning streak, eventually winning the Calder Cup. So, as the Lightning face the Canadiens tonight in Tampa, the question must be asked. Is now the time for Boucher to get the axe, before another team comes calling for Cooper?