NHL: Five Reasons Why I Believe Tampa Bay Will Beat Boston
by, 05-11-2011 at 12:40 AM (2215 Views)
The Tampa Bay Lightning will face off against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, May 14, 2011 following their sweep of the Washington Capitals and Bruin's sweep of the Flyers.
The Lightning have not made it to the Eastern Finals since winning the Stanley Cup in the 2003-04 season while the Bruins have not made it since the 1991-92 season.
Both teams will have the hunger and desire to win the series and advance to the Stanley Cup, but here are five reason why I believe the Lightning will edge out the Bruins.
#5: Dwayne Roloson
Finishing the regular season, Dwayne Roloson has been brilliant between the pipes since being traded to the team in January.
Playing through 34 regular season games, the star goalie recorded a 18-12 record, four OT games, 2.56 GAA, .912 SV% with four shut-outs.
During the playoffs, Roloson amped his game up, helping lead the team to a shocking game seven victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in round one, and then assisting in sweeping the number one seeded Washington Capitals to get to the Conference Finals.
If there was any one reason for Tampa to be hoisting the trophy in the end, Roloson will definitely get his dues.
#4: Sean Bergenheim
Through 80 regular season games, Bergenheim recorded 14 goals and 11 assists. After two rounds of playoff action, he already has seven goals and one assist, giving him eight points.
With a team hoisting players such as Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis, it's not hard for Bergenheim to get lost in the mix.
He has however shown his worth through the first two rounds and with the hot stick and could very well be a difference maker in the Finals against the Bruins.
#3: Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier
It's hard not to deny the great play of Captain Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis during the first eleven postseason games.
These three players put together, hold a combined 31 points with 15 goals and 16 assists.
Although Stamkos was unable to catch Corey Perry and claim top spot for goals this season, there is no question his play on the ice in the postseason has greatly improved everyone elses' play.
Vincent Lecavalier has continued to show his leadership on the ice and off, and Martin St. Louis has been brilliant thus far, which comes to no shock, as the 35 year old looks to capture another Stanley Cup.
#2: Guy Boucher
Rookie Coach of the Year, if one, should definitely be awarded to this young man. signed in the off-season by first year General Manager, Steve Yzerman, Boucher has led this team to their first postseason since the 2006-07 season.
Having his players buy into his system has paid dividends, as teams were distracted in the neutral zone.
As if assisting in bringing in veteran goaltender Roloson wasn't enough, his calm collective self handled all troubling odds when presented, helping boost team morale.
Now leading his team into the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year as head coach, Boucher will continue relaying his message to his team, not to look ahead, but take it one game at a time and let the chips fall where they may.
#1: Steve Yzerman
Hired by Boston investment banker Jeffrey Vinik, Steve Yzerman came into a newly crafted team, who had just let go their previous head coach, and general manager.
Yzerman, fresh off a goal medal victory in the 2010 Olympics, new well in hand how to build a successful team and immediately went right to work.
Wasting little time, Yzerman would bring in fresh blood in Brett Connolly, signing St. Louis to a long-term deal. Bringing on Simon Gagne and then Sean Bergenheim, Dominic Moore and Marc-Antoine Pouliot.
Not done yet, Yzerman would soon bring along defense-men Brett Clark, Randy Jones and Pavel Kubina, and sign hot goaltender Dan Ellis.
This man knows how to build a winning team and has shown once again that he has the right skill set and has given Vinik all the confidence needed in his hiring.