After witnessing four first round series advance to a game seven, the feeling going into the second round was that there would not be any clearcut favorites, especially in the 2nd vs. 3rd seedings. That hasn’t been the case thus far. Sure, there has been a record number of overtime contests, but the same teams are winning. The trend continued last night, with victories by Tampa Bay, Boston and San Jose.
The Lightning are on a mission and look unstoppable, with seven straight wins dating back to game 5 of their first round series with Pittsburgh. Not many picked them to upset the top seeded Capitals, in four games no less, and become the first team to secure a spot in the conference finals. It has been quite the storied journey for the Bolts, who are making the most of their first playoff appearance in three seasons. Led by bench boss Guy Boucher, the team has established an underdog attitude and a belief that they can’t be defeated.
While last night didn’t decide the series for these two teams, the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks both came within one win of advancing to the final four with victories last night. Boston crushed a lifeless Philadelphia team that has hit a roadblock, virtually shattering all hope remaining. They are only a shadow of their former selfs and will be hard pressed to comeback and win the series. Last years epic rebound after being down 3-0 in the series was a result of a change in team mindset, along with several lucky bounces, but is a stretch to expect two years in a row.
Sean Bergenheim, who had a two-goal performance last night, continued to lead Tampa Bay in their four game upset of the Washington Capitals
The Bruins take a 3-0 series lead after a dominating 5-1 win over the Flyers last light.
Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star looks back at the best and worst moves made on deadline day.
Devin Setoguchi records his first career playoff hat trick in San Jose 4-3 win over Detroit.
Last nights three stars, courtesy of Puck Daddy.
Ellis ends his junior career on a high note.
World Championship Links:
Dion Phaneuf has taken on a leading role for Canada at the World Championships.
What was missing from the Washington Capitals that hindered them from getting over the proverbial ‘playoff hump’ this season? Will they let go of head coach Bruce Boudreau?