Boutin Recalled to Springfield
The Springfield Falcons have announced the recall of goaltender Jonathan Boutin from Johnstown of the ECHL. The move comes less than 24 hours after Boutin's start in the 2005-06 ECHL All-Star Game in Fresno. No word as of yet on either Gerald Coleman or Brian Eklund going down to Johnstown to make room.
(More on the flip.)
On the one hand, I think Jonathan Boutin earned the recall... three weeks ago. The Lightning organization knew they had a problem festering in Springfield and they chose to ignore it shelling after shelling for the past month. Had they recalled Boutin earlier, he'd have come in riding a wave of momentum as he was playing outstanding hockey at the time. But his momentum has been stopped as Johnstown's defensive corps has been depleted with the losses of Gerard Dicaire, Mike Egener and now Doug Andress as well as the trade of defenseman Tyler Kindle, and Boutin has paid the price in his past few starts (as has Morgan Cey). Boutin's confidence means so much to his game, and seeing him last night he's not playing with the same level of confidence he played with just a month ago.
Can he do worse than Eklund and Coleman have in the last couple of months? No. But I wonder if recalling him exposes him to the kind of psychological wringer Coach Graham has been subjecting Gerald Coleman to on a nightly basis. Given Boutin's past, that would be bad.
Perhaps it would've been better to recall Morgan Cey given the current conditions in the organization? He is, after all, significantly older than Boutin and has had to carry some bad Notre Dame squads in the CCHA in the past.
Either way though, the Lightning clearly blew it when they didn't acquire a veteran to tandem with Eklund at the AHL level for this season. That much is clear.