by Patrick Hoffman on 05/23/11 at 12:13 PM ET
Here are my thoughts for tonight’s Game 5 between the Bruins and Lightning:
Keys for the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Start Dwayne Roloson: While Lightning back-up netminder Mike Smith certainly made a case to get the start for tonight’s Game 5 in Boston, it would be smart for team head coach Guy Boucher to go with the guy that got them there, Dwayne Roloson. Yes, Roloson has struggled a bit in this series but when it comes down to it, Roloson gives the Lightning the best and most consistent chance to win a hockey game.
- Establish a Net Presence: The Lightning need to continue to put bodies in front of Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas. On the Lightning, guys like Ryan Malone and Dominic Moore are the best at creating havoc in front of the Bruins’ net and should do double tonight in Game 5.
- Make Tim Thomas Play the Puck: While Thomas is great at stopping pucks, he is quite the opposite when it comes to handling the puck. He helped create the first Lightning goal in Game 4 and was partly responsible for getting the Lightning rally started.Keys for the Boston Bruins
- Establish a forecheck: The Bruins need to get the puck deep and make sure they go after it in the offensive zone. Guys like Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, and Gregory Campbell need to put some pressure on the Lightning defensemen to help create turnovers and gain offensive possession of the puck.
- A Strong Game from Tim Thomas: Thomas has already come out and said that the Bruins will win this series and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990. He has to back that up with strong play, something he did all season long en route to a Vezina Trophy-caliber season.
- Better Communication Between Thomas and his defensemen: If the Lightning are going to make Thomas play the puck more tonight, Thomas needs to communicate more effectively with his defensemen. He needs to let them know whether he is going to play the puck or if someone is on their tail.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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