Is there any team more loathsome in the NHL than the Lightning? I mean there are other teams in the league that we all dislike, (even Joe Biden roots against the Leafs apparently), and the Bruins just came off a nice win over everyone’s biggest rival in these parts; the Montreal Canadiens. We’ll always have memories of car fires and riots with our least favorite Western team the Canucks, and the B’s square off against another group of whiny twats tomorrow in the CAR Hurricanes (looking at you Rod the Bod – the biggest Karen in the NHL). But pound for pound, the dirtiest, whiniest, ref-complaining, palms up playing, arrogantly coached team in the league has to be these scumbags from America’s toilet: The Tampa Bay Lightning.
Everyone talks about how great this team is coached, and how Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are so skilled and how Victor Hedman is the prototype of defenseman in today’s NHL. Blow it out your ass. Stamkos is another whiny twat out there and Kucherov is a plain fucking no-good rat. Hedman’s such a good D-man cause he’s 11 feet tall with a 25ft wingspan. Fuck all three of them. And the coach? Oh Jon Cooper is the best coach in the NHL and is revered by people who know hockey? Spare me such bullshit. Cooper has been the coach of the team for 11 seasons (he took over from Guy Boucher for 15 games at the end of the 2012-13 season), and had 1 full season with Ben Bishop before Andrei Vasilevskiy showed up. He’s always had Stamkos and at the beginning he had Vincent Lecalvier, Ryan Callahan and Martin St. Louis. Hedman and Kucherov also have been there since his first full season. If you want to give anyone in Tampa credit for their success I’d go first to Vasilevskiy and then to the GM suite and whoever manages their salary cap. I’d be a Jack Adams finalist with that roster.
The resident genius behind the Tampa bench (who’s now lost 4 straight) rolled out Ross Colton and Pat Maroon on the wings to start the game and “send a message”. Garnett Hathaway took all of Maroon’s shots (most to the top of his helmet), and ended up landing some good ones towards the end of the tilt while Jakub Lauko tangled with Colton. TBL ended up on the PK and that set the pattern for the first period where the teams combined for 22 penalty minutes in the first as the Bruins had 3 power plays in the opening 6 minutes.
It was on the 3rd PP that Patrice Bergeron put the Bruins on the board when a Brad Marchand feed caromed off The Captain’s skate in front of Vasilevskiy. Marchand sold shot from the LW circle before dropping down and putting the feed out front where Bergeron was tied up with Hedman. Just like it was drawn up in the pre-game and the B’s were out in front.
The period progressed with more special teams play, because of course it did with Boston’s own Chris Rooney working the game. This donkey loves to be on TV and when it’s a matinee game in the TD Garden you know he’ll make his presence felt. He must tell his wife and kids to look for him on the telecast, as he’s one of those officials that loves to be a part of the game. I’d love to send him a dictionary so he can look up what the words “consistency” and “impartial” mean. This gentle soul gave Maroon a bench minor for saying mean things. No word yet if he’ll donate to the thin-skinned referee’s association in Maroon’s name.
It was on another Bruins power play that the Lightning tied it up. After some sloppy puck management in their own end, Hedman uncorked a clapper that deflected off Charlie McAvoy‘s stick and past Linus Ullmark. Per Friend of the Podcast, Kevin Paul Dupont, this was Hedman’s first career SHG in 967GP. The teams retired for the period with the score knotted at one but with Tampa having a 30 second carry over on a power play to open the second.
In the middle frame, the play was more 5 on 5 until the midway point of the period when the Bruins had to kill off a 5:3 power play. With Brandon Carlo in the box, McAvoy joined him on a phantom tripping call and you could feel that the game hung in the balance on this kill. If Tampa got one, it was going to be an uphill battle for the B’s and if the Bruins killed it off, it would be a huge momentum swing back to the Hometown Team. Enter Mr. Selke himself (who’s like another defenseman out there), and the Bruins made the kill; limiting the TBL to perimeter possession and blocked shots on their 2-man advantage.
With less than 3mins remaining in the second, Hathaway scored what would turn out to be the game winner from in tight on Vasilevskiy. With heavy wall work throughout this period, it was no surprise that this play originated out of another scrum along the boards. Tomas Nosek dug the puck out of the LW wall and sent it up to Matt Grzelcyk at the point. Grz dusted it off and put the puck on net where Hathaway was crashing. Vasilevskiy made the initial stop but Hathaway knocked it out of the air and past the Tampa netminder’s left leg for the GWG.
Here’s the reverse angle
The score held through the period and through the final horn in the 3rd as Tampa seemed more interested in hits/slashes/face washes behind the play then they did about climbing back into this one. If you catch the replay of the game later on NESN, watch the final few shifts of Kucherov seemingly not interested in puck pursuit at all and loafing around out there. Reminded me of his effort last year when he was busy complaining to the refs as his team was eliminated with the play 2 zones away. Such as soft piece of shite.
The Bruins line of Charlie Coyle, Trent Frederic and Tyler Bertuzzi along with Nosek, Lauko and Hathaway kept the puck in the Tampa zone for most of the final five minutes, not allowing Tampa to pull the goalie until there were only 40 seconds on the clock. Couldn’t coach your way out of that one huh Coop? Ullmark was solid again today, and made a huge save on Kucherov as time was winding down in the 3rd.
The Bruins travel for an early evening tilt tomorrow against CAR who also play today when they take on the Leafs tonight at home.
Play the music – Goalie Hug
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I said before,
Will again Avs will get to the final again against one of 2 teams either re-match from last year or Bruins.