They say ‘good things come to those who wait’ and that is no different for the Tampa Bay Lightning. After several years of bottoming out and falling into a downward spiral, the Lightning have established a new identity. Gone is the shaky ownership, inexperienced management and questionable coaching. No more quick fixes or patches in the lineup. Years of waiting in St. Petersburg has finally brought positive change.
That change was in full movement last night as they came to play against the Boston Bruins, en route to their eighth straight win. The Lightning score a franchise record two goals in 19 seconds and three in 1:25. And although neither Steven Stamkos or Martin St. Louis buried for Tampa, third line role players emerged, as they have all playoffs, including the likes of Sean Bergenheim and Teddy Purcell. Along with other goal getters Brett Clark and Marc-Andre Bergeron, Bergenheim an Purcell represent the body of work that Steve Yzerman has accomplished at the helm. Yzerman is capable of recognizing talent and finding players who will thrive in the team system.
Every playoff teams secret weapons are third line role players who can play in all situations and shutdown the oppositions best line. If you want to pinpoint one reason for the Bolts success, it better be the grinders.
Steve Burtch at PPP looks at Gunnarsson’s market value as he seeks a new contract this summer.
Tampa opens their series with a 5-2 win over Boston.
The Canucks welcome the Sharks to the Rogers Centre tonight for game one of the Western Conference finals.
The family of Derek Boogaard donate his brain to the Boston University Medical Centre for research.
The 40-year old Lidstrom will take his time before deciding if he’ll return next season.
World Championship Links:
The Finns and Swedes battle for the gold medal this afternoon at the worlds.
What impressed you most in Tampa’s 5-2 win last night? With eight straight wins, should the Lightning improve anything to ensure their streak continues? Were you surprised by Tampa’s play in front of the rowdy Boston crowd?