Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Lightning coach Guy Boucher responds to comments from Patrick Roy
Posted Nov 3, 2010 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Nov 3, 2010 at 04:23 PM
Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy had his fair share of controversial comments throughout his playing days with Montreal and Colorado, with perhaps his most famous comment coming when he told Jeremy Roenick he couldn’t hear what he was saying because Roy had his two Stanley Cup rings stuffed in his ears.
On Wednesday, Roy had some comments in the Journal de Montreal directed at current Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher. Roy is the head coach and owner of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where Boucher coached previously in Drummondville. It was while in Drummondville that Boucher’s up-tempo system, often referred to as a 1-3-1, started to become successful.
Roy, however, thinks Boucher’s forward thinking style of play has set the QMJHL backwards.
“Boucher did nothing to help our league (Quebec Junior Major Hockey League) advance. His defensive system was copied by many other teams,’’ Roy told the paper. “I know my comments will not please Guy, but for me hockey should be focused on offense, not defense.’‘
Roy’s comments about defensive play are contrary to what Boucher’s system actually preaches, and that’s aggressive and transition with the thought process to move everything forward and push the offensive chances. His teams the past two seasons, both in Drummondville and last year with Hamilton of the American Hockey League, have been at or near the top of the offensive categories. Thus far with Tampa Bay, the Lightning lead the league with an average of 3.5 goals per game heading into Wednesday’s game at Anaheim.
“I know he made these comments because apparently some people are trying to copy my style in the league, but the reality is I’m not there. I didn’t see any games last year and I haven’t seen any games this year, so I can’t really comment on what is going on down there I can only comment on what I’m doing here with my guys and the NHL,’’ Boucher said. “My other answer would be, I would not be pretentious enough to say that I had that much impact, whether positively or negatively on an entire league. His comments were about some teams trying to play the same defensive style we had, but the funny thing is my teams were always the number one offensive teams. We were first in the league in junior in offense, the same last year in the American League we were one of the top offenses, this year we are the top team in the NHL. So we spend 80 percent of our time working on offense, and if you watch our practices you’ll see, so that’s all I’m focusing on.’‘
Some other quick notes from Wednesday: Dan Ellis will make the start in goal coming off his shutout performance in Phoenix on Saturday. ... Boucher will dress the same lineup, which means defenseman Matt Roy will most likely sit out tonight’s game. ... Injured left wing Simon Gagne has been cleared to resume workouts back in Tampa, which brings him a step closer to returning to the lineup. Boucher said all the testing on Gagne is done for now, and if there is additional testing required it means Gagne suffered a setback while working out. There should be another update tomorrow before Tampa Bay faces Los Angeles. ... Center Dominic Moore skated for the second consecutive day, but most likely will not be ready for any of the remaining three games on this road trip. The targeted date for Moore to come back is Tuesday at home against Toronto.