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Lightning trying to ‘stop’ Tyler Seguin, Claude Julien wishes they’d stop ‘flattering’ Bruins 05.19.11 at 1:31 pm ET
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TAMPA — Nobody — even the biggest “play Seguin at all costs” crybabies — could have expected what Tyler Seguin has done in the Eastern Conference finals.

Since making his playoff debut in Game 1 of the conference finals, Seguin has had six points (3 G, 3 A) and has gone from an injury replacement to a big problem for the Lightning in a matter of six periods.

‘€œThe first two games, it’s clear the players and everybody underestimated his speed,” Tampa coach Guy Boucher said of Seguin. “That’€™s the main thing. His speed is obviously a weapon for him and his team. Being a young guy and having success right away, it certainly takes a lot of the nervousness away, and for us we know he’€™s going to be on the ice and we have to be able to keep up with his speed.’€

The praise from the Lightning wasn’t limited to Boucher, as one player who knows Seguin’s style better than most said the team needs to find a way to prevent the rookie from taking over another game like he did in Game 2 (2 G, 2 A). Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin
Don’t expect more ‘pond hockey’ between Bruins and Lightning for Game 3 at 1:19 pm ET
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TAMPA — Steven Stamkos may only be 21 years old but he certainly can articulate like a crafty and well-versed veteran in the ways of winning playoff hockey.

He also proved Thursday morning in the hours before Game 3 at St. Pete Times Forum that he was playing close attention to what his coach was preaching and teaching during film analysis of the Game 2 loss to the Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden.

After the game Tuesday, Guy Boucher spoke of how his team got into pond hockey and lost the race. He told his players in film study that he didn’t want that to happen again, even if it means giving up some scoring chances that came from desperate hockey in the third period.

“I don’t think for us there is a fine line,” Stamkos said. “I think that line doesn’t exist. We don’t want to play that run-and-gun pond hockey. That’s not our structure. That’s not how we’ve won games this year. At the end of the day, we had a lot of scoring chances, probably moreso that any other game we’ve played, maybe all year, but we didn’t win the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Martin St. Louis, Michael Ryder
Lightning coach Guy Boucher: Tim Thomas is in ‘everybody’s head’ 05.13.11 at 8:49 pm ET
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Tim Thomas dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning during the regular season much in the same way he dominated the rest of the NHL. So, maybe nobody should’ve been shocked when their head coach admitted Friday that the Bruins goalie is in their heads.

Thomas was a perfect 3-0-0 this season against the Lightning, with 1.67 goal against, allowing just five goals in the three games.

“Well, I’m sure we’re no different than any other team or any other coaches,” Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said Friday. “We do study the other goaltender. I’m sure they studied ours. There’s tendencies and things you want to focus on.

“But I think the players play the game, everything is done in fractions of seconds. It’s quite difficult to all of a sudden change their ways. We do want to focus on a few things. But the reality is, whatever we plan against Tim Thomas, he’s probably going to find a way to counter that. I think you want to watch out and not focus too much on the other team’s goaltender.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Martin St. Louis, NHL
Don Cherry on D&C: ‘This is going to be a battle of goaltenders’ at 9:00 am ET
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Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins picked things up offensively in the series sweep of the Flyers, but Cherry said goals will be at a premium against Lightning backstopper Dwayne Roloson. He predicts both team’s goalies will take center stage in this series.

“I tell you one thing, they won’t get those goals off of Roloson,” Cherry said. “I phoned [Capitals coach] Bruce Boudreau in January and left him a message. I usually don’t do that, but I said, ‘You’ve got to get a hold of that Roloson. This guy will win you the Stanley Cup. He’s hungry, he’s 41 years old, this is his last shot.’ And he didn’t do it. A week later, [Lightning general manager] Stevie Yzerman picked him up. I think he got two shutouts in a row, shut out Washington. He is dynamite.

“And I’ll tell you one thing: Philadelphia, I have never understood them that they have gone 20 years and they seem as if they don’t want to get a good goaltender. It’s beyond me.

“You watch this guy [Saturday night], Roloson. He is dynamite. But Timmy Thomas, right on the money, too. This is going to be a battle of goaltenders.”

Added Cherry of Thomas: “Timmy Thomas is on a roll right now. He’s got something to prove.”

Cherry, who coached the Bruins from 1974-75 through 1978-79, predicts the Bruins will advance to the Stanley Cup finals vs. the Canucks. “I like Boston,” he said. “I picked Boston to be in the finals. But this will be a tough one, because these guys are on a roll ‘€” [Martin] St. Louis and [Vincent] Lecavalier. And [Steven] Stamkos hasn’t really picked it up yet. I’ll tell you one thing: This is going to be a great series.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Don Cherry, Dwayne Roloson, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos
Bruins, Lightning scoreless after one 03.03.11 at 7:42 pm ET
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The Bruins and Lightning are as close as it gets in the standings. It seems that has translated to Thursday’s game, as the two teams are scoreless after a period of play at the Garden.

The Lightning outshot the Bruins, 10-8, in the period. After an ill-advised maneuver by Tim Thomas behind his net early on, he had to rush back to make a kick-save on Teddy Purcell. Thomas later robbed Mattias Ritola in front with just over 12 minutes left in the period, but the Milan Lucic went to the box afterwards for a clear-as-day cross-check.

Simon Gagne had a great opportunity on the power play, but went the puck across the crease. With 25 seconds remaining on the penalty, Steven Stamos beat Thomas with a wrist-shot but clanked it off the post.

Adam Hall drew the Lightning’s only penalty, going off for hooking David Krejci at 10:47. The Bruins are now 1-for-14 on the power play since Tomas Kaberle entered the fold, though they’re getting their chances.

Brad Marchand led the B’s with two shots in the period. Lightning goalie Mike Smith made a big stop on Patrice Bergeron on perhaps the Bruins’ best scoring opportunity thus far.

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Mike Smith, Milan Lucic
Pre-game notes: Shawn Thornton says cool it with the 1972 comparisons at 1:18 pm ET
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No time for celebration, as the Bruins, fresh off a 6-0-0 road trip, are back at the Garden for a huge game with the Lightning on Thursday. The teams are tied with 81 points apiece through 63 games, with the B’s holding the tie-breaker for second place given that they’ve won less games via shootout.

It will be Tim Thomas between the pipes, as he’ll put his 28-8-6 record on the line after last playing Saturday night in Vancouver. Tuukka Rask started the Bruins’ last two, earning victories over the Oilers and Senators.

Thomas is 2-0-0 in two starts against Tampa Bay, allowing four goals with a .944 save percentage.

While the Bruins have won their last six, the Lightning have gone 3-2-1 in the same span. They lost a 2-1 contest to the red-hot Devils on Wednesday.

Here are some pre-game notes:

– Comparisons are nice, but even Roger Clemens would say people are beating references to 1972’s perfect six-game road trip with a dead horse.

“I don’t look at it at all,” Shawn Thornton said after the morning skate. “I honestly don’t. It’s purely a coincidence as far as I’m concerned.

“We’ve got a six game thing going here, and it doesn’t matter about anything else. We’re just trying to get seven in a row and then eight in a row. We’ll take it one at time here.”

Claude Julien offered an update on Andrew Ference, who is out with a lower body injury.

“He got examined yesterday by our doctors and things are going extremely well for him,” Julien said. “We hope to see him back on the ice the beginning of next week. That could be as early as Sunday if things keep going well.”

– No Vincent Lecavalier for the Lightning. He’s out with a mid-body injury on which the Lightning haven’t elaborated much.

– The three new guys in Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly will play in the Garden as Bruins for the first time Thursday. Kaberle and Kelly have played five games for the B’s since being acquired via trade, while Peverley has four under his belt.

While Bruins fans will welcome all three to the Garden, the focus will likely be on Kaberle, who was the big fish of trade season. Neither of the newcomers have lost a game as a member of the Bruins, and after years of limited team success in Toronto, that’s something Kaberle welcomes.

“My first six years I played in the playoffs every year. The last five, it wasn’t there. It’s tough to always answer the questions to the media of ‘why not,'” Kaberle said after the morning skate. “Hopefully we’ll have a good rest of the season and prepare for the playoffs.”

Kaberle said he is feeling more and more comfortable as he familiarizes himself with the Bruins way.

“I feel good. Obviously it’s a great team. Every line’s got something on the ice, and everybody can score. It’s nice to see that, and with two goalies behind us, we feel pretty comfortable.”

– Kaberle is undoubtedly the biggest name the team added when the moves were made, but Kelly and Peverley are fitting in very nicely on the third line. Both were among the leagues better faceoff men at the time they were acquired, and having both taking draws and killing penalties is something Julien likes to see.

“Right now, you’€™ve got to be extremely pleased with first of all [Peverley's] faceoffs, how dominant he’€™s been on draws,” Julien said. “With that line you’€™ve got a guy taking him on the strong side, and Kelly, a lefty and a righty, so you’€™ve got to be comfortable with that situation.”

“At the same time I think both Kelly and Peverley have seemed to have built some pretty quick chemistry there on the penalty kill as well. They seem to read off each other extremely well.”

– Thornton doesn’t want the new guys’ ability to come in and contribute immediately to go unnoticed. All three players have wound up on the scoring sheet since joining the B’s.

“They’re a big part of it too. These guys came in and stepped in seamlessly,” Thornton said. “It’s been a really easy transition for us and them.”

– How about this one from the stat truck? Over the last 10 games, Tyler Seguin has more goals than Steven Stamkos. Take that, development.

Well, not exactly. By Stamkos’ standards, the Tampa Bay star is in a slump as far as goals go. He has just two over the last 10 games (Seguin has three), but continues to lead the league with 41. Seguin has no points over his last four games.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Chris Kelly, Claude Julien, Rich Peverley
Michael Ryder, Steven Stamkos have Bruins and Lightning tied after one 12.28.10 at 8:21 pm ET
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The Bruins and Lightning traded power play goals in the first period, and the teams are tied at one goal apiece after 20 minutes of play.

Brad Marchand (who made his return to the lineup after battling soreness from the P.K. Subban hit earlier this month) and Sean Bergenheim got tangled up in the early going, and Bergenheim got minors for roughing and cross-checking, while Marchand only got went off for cross-checking. With the B’s on the early man advantage, Michael Ryder scored his 11th goal of the season 28 seconds into the game.

Steven Stamkos countered with his 29th goal of the year at 7:10. With Adam McQuaid in the box for high-stickingm Tim Thomas was able to knock down a Ryan Malone bid, but in doing so swatted it to Stamkos, who put it in to make it a tie game.

There were six minor penalties assessed (three apiece) between the two teams in the first period. Five seconds into a Lightning power play with Milan Lucic in the box, Steven Stamkos went off for tripping Zdeno Chara, making for 1:55 of four-on-four play.

Read More: Michael Ryder, Steven Stamkos, Tim Thomas,
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