The Lightning Sunday morning announced it has fired coach Guy Boucher. The final straw, obviously, was Saturday's 5-3 loss at Ottawa in which the team, facing a crucial weekend, showed little urgency in allowing four first-period goals.

Assistants Dan Lacroix and Marty Raymond are scheduled to work behind the bench tonight at Winnipeg.
Speculation will immediately begin that former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who has ties to GM Steve Yzerman throw Team Canada, will get the gig. AHL Syracuse coach Jon Cooper also could be a consideration, though it might be a stretch to believe Yzerman would go with another coach untested in the NHL.

Boucher, who led the Lightning to the Eastern Conference final in 2010-11, his first season, is 84-62-19 in two-plus seasons behind the bench. Tampa Bay, which seems as if it will miss the playoffs for a second straight season, is on a 7-16-1 skid this season after a 6-1-0 start.