There wasn’t an NHL game Monday, but the playoffs will grace our televisions once more Tuesday. At 8:00 PM Eastern on Versus, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning play the second game of their series. In the first game, the Tampa Bay Lightning scored three goals in the first period and rode that to a 5-2 victory. So now, the tables have turned and the Bruins are in the position of disadvantage. Furthermore, another loss at home would really hinder Boston’s chances of advancing. This Lightning team may be a surprise participant in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they are still a dangerous group.
It would be nice for the Bruins if Patrice Bergeron can return from his concussion. He was leading the team in points through two rounds, after all. He practiced with the team Monday, but his status is still uncertain for game two. With the way Dwayne Roloson has played this postseason, what with his .941 save percentage and all, the Bruins need all the offensive help they can get. They may also want to consider including Tyler Seguin in their lineup in game two even if Bergeron is healthy. He may have been their best forward in game one.
The Bruins also will need a better performance from Tim Thomas. Sure, one of Tampa’s goals in game one was an empty netter, but one of the goals was also pretty soft and the Bruins aren’t a team with a potent enough offense to win too many games that are shootouts. Thomas was the key to Boston’s success in the regular season and in the playoffs so far. One great game from him and this series is all tied up again. Not that the Lightning intend to make that easy for them. They’ve been getting plenty of scoring beyond Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis in the playoffs. Vincent Lecavalier has been in old form, and guys like Sean Bergenheim and Domonic Moore have emerged as offensive contributors.
Game one was won pretty handily by the Lightning, but aside from that one stretch in the first period it was a fairly evenly played game. Of course, every second counts, and so Tampa got the win in game one. What will happen in game two? Will Boston rebound to tie the series? Will the Lightning do what they did to the Capitals and win the first two games of this series on the road? Which goalie will have the better game? If they both play great, which offense is going to step up? Is the Socratic Method an effective was to write about sports? Is that a legitimate question? Or am I being fatuous? Either way, enjoy Tuesday’s game between the Bruins and Lightning. Also, the NBA Draft lottery is Tuesday as well, so you may want to check that out before the hockey.