Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins
Last night was game 7 between the Leafs and Bruins and it played out exactly how Papa thought. 7 games to decide a series involving two teams that can score, but also inconsistent at times. That’s pretty much the tale of every team in the east. When the Bruins are clicking on all cylinders, they can look like the best team in the league. That’s what you saw last night in the third. The B’s top forwards of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak are scary good together, which leads me to my three points for the second round match up with the Bolts and Bruins.
Boston will be able to score. If Tampa doesn’t commit to the defensive end of the ice, they will get blown out by Boston. They have depth to roll three solid lines and a d-core that can contribute offensively. The Lightning defense will get worn down quickly if the forwards don’t get back and help out. So look for Boston to go on an all out blitz and really force the Tampa defense to earn their ice time. With that being said, Tampa played much better team defense against the Devils than they did at the end of the season. We obviously know they can score but some games they just let their opponents get chance after chance and got totally outplayed in the d-zone.
Home ice advantage is obviously huge in game 7. Boston fed off the energy of the fans last night, especially in the third when they tied the game. Tampa has control here and that could make a difference. These teams are evenly matched so that may be the deciding factor if Boston can’t steal a road win.
So I said what Boston needs to do to be effective against the Lightning. I mentioned how Tampa has the home ice advantage. Now it’s time to let everyone know what the Bolts need to do to beat the Boston Bruins…..they need to keep their Rangers play to a minimum. Seriously. Mac and Gi need to play 15 minutes at the most. They will get gobbled up by the Bruins forwards. They are fast and physical and that seems to be the Rangers kryptonite. Cally and Miller, although tough, will disappear this series. More so Cally since he is made of glass. But I’m not kidding when I say this, keep those 4 players ice time minimal. Let players like Point, Killorn, and Kucherov be your guys up front. Stamkos, although not a Ranger, will be a ghost this series. Just too tough for him to be effective. I know this sounds petty, but I’m dead serious with this analysis of the Lightning.
To sum up my crazy points, if the Tampa forwards commit to defense and keep the Rags off the ice they will win this series. I just don’t think they will be able to do that. The Bruins will be too tough for them. They are a team willing to battle and willing to muck it up. The Bolts don’t have that grit. Home ice advantage will probably be negated when the series is tied 1-1 after the first two games in Tampa. The series will be dragged out and the Bruins will wear down the soft players that Tampa relies on.
Boston Bruins in 7.
(I know this is a hot take, but I love Brad Marchand. He can wear a Rags sweater any day of the week)
Side note: It is now confirmed that Gino and Hags will be out game 1. If you think that changes my analysis you’re out of your damn mind.