TEAM 1040 Vancouver's Matt Sekeres and co-host Pete Schad are beating the drums for Guy Boucher as Canucks head coach now. They're mentioning the hands-on, passionate coaching, the job he did in the AHL with the Bulldogs, the work with young players, the teaching, the sports psychology background. They like the scar.
Again though, they talk about how he "flamed out" in Tampa Bay, and I maintain that it's more of a case where he didn't have a goaltender to work with.
In 2011-12, the Lightning got a save percentage of .893 out of four goalies, Mathieu Garon being the most reliable with a .901. Dwayne Rolloson put up an egregious .886. Dustin Tokarski pitched in a .879 over five games. Their goal differential that season was – 46.
Steve Yzerman failed to get Guy Boucher a proper goaltender that season, banking on aging Dwayne Rolloson, who’d put up a .912 the previous year. Every analyst agreed that the Tampa GM stood pat, which was a risky move, and it came back to bite him. He fiddled around, getting Anders Lindback from Nashville in the next offseason, and dealing Dustin Tokarski to the Habs for Cédric Desjardins midway through the next season, but these moves didn’t stanch the bleeding.
So the response to the constant losing was to fire the coach. Jon Cooper came on, still lost a lot of games, until Ben Bishop came on midway through the season, and contributed a .917 save percentage.
This year, Ben Bishop is considered a Vézina Trophy candidate, and everyone is singing the praise of the new Tampa coach Jon Cooper. And he does seem to be a smart guy, I like the way he spoke to the media during the playoffs, but a great goalie helps out a coach immensely. When he had to make do with Mr. Lindback, John Cooper wasn't quite the wizard any more.
I think Guy Boucher is a great coach, with a proven track record. Now with more experience, he'd be a good hire for most teams, especially one considering a rebuild, or a 'reset' as Trevor Linden and Jim Benning say.