No professional coach is as disposable as an NHL head coach. It always has been that way. The latest example is Tampa Bay's firing of Guy Boucher on Sunday morning.
Boucher was hailed across the league for his work with the Lightning two years ago, but all of that goodwill evaporated as his veteran team imploded this week. Tampa Bay was down 4-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs by the second period of a loss Wednesday. The Lightning topped that Saturday when they fell behind 4-0 in the first period at Ottawa. That was enough for general manager Steve Yzerman, who knows how to define a winning culture better than most going back to his days as a player with the Detroit Red Wings.
And so Boucher, who was deemed to have outmaneuvered Bruce Boudreau in a Stanley Cup second-round playoff series sweep two years ago, is also out of a gig. And yet with 27 points, Tampa Bay is still only five out of a playoff spot with 17 to play. At age 41, he'll get another chance. NHL coaches almost always do.
- Brian McNally