You know what May 15th is???.... it's a great day for hockey (isn't every day?) as we get game #1 of VAN-SJ, the WC final between hated rivals Sweden & Finland and game #7 of the OHL final between Owen Sound & Mississauga... Enjoy.
Tampa had over a week off since closing out the Washington series but they returned and nothing changed as Dwayne Roloson came in allowing 2.01 goals per game and stopping 94% of shots and last night he allowed two goals and stopped 94% of his shots (31 of 33). He's now won eight straight games and hasn't allowed more than three goals in any of his 12 playoff games.
And that damn Sean Bergenheim dude scored again... on his only shot of the game. He now has eight goals (leads the playoffs) in his last nine games and on his last 27 shots, shooting at nearly a 30% clip. Again, I'll reiterate, I don't see him carrying this over to next season.
Teddy Purcell with two points last night to extend his point streak to five games (1+6=7)... very quietly he's up to top 5 in the league in playoff scoring.
Tyler Seguin got into his first playoff game last night and he made it count with 1+1=2 and three shots. He hadn't scored since mid-March as he was scoreless in his last 11 regular season games. Let the kid play, I say, but Julien only gave him 9:38 of ice-time... had to make sure Michael Ryder got his minutes.
It will be very interesting to see how Patrice Bergeron's line functions without him... the early returns aren't favourable as Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi were a combined 6+5=11, plus-12 with 25 shots over their last five games coming into last night but were held without a point, a combined minus-4 with one shot in game #1.
Bergeron did take a "light skate" yesterday morning... which is progress but indicates that he still has a ways to go.
Simon Gagne did return for Tampa after missing most of the Washington series due to a concussion... he played 15 minutes and scored an ENG.
It sounds as though Nicklas Lidstrom hasn't made up his mind to retire, so that's a good thing, as he said he's going to think about it and will let the team know his decision prior to July 1st... my guess is he plays.
A few quick notes on the AHL playoffs... Bobby Butler has goals in eight of his last 11 games and nine in total to sit tied for second in the league in playoff markers. There seems to be this belief that since Robin Lehner has played so well that he's going to be in Ottawa next year... recall that when Bryan Murray signed Craig Anderson that he said that he thought it was a mistake to have Lehner in the NHL this year and wanted him to play a full season in the AHL next season.