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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

The Stanley Cup Window For The Tampa Bay Lightning

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Winning the Stanley Cup this year is obviously a priority for the Tampa Bay Lightning. But it isn’t a necessity.

Despite going all-in at the trade deadline and acquiring defenceman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers for a package of prospects and draft picks, the team’s window of opportunity extends beyond this year.

That’s because with the exception of fourth-line forward Chris Kunitz and third-pairing defenceman Andrej Sustr, most of the players on the roster today will be back for next season. After that, it gets a lot dicier.

McDonagh’s and Miller’s contracts both expire at the end of 2018-19. That’s the same time when Nikita Kucherov will be looking for a significant raise from his US$4.7-million contract, while forwards Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde, and defencemen Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn and Dan Girardi become free agents.

continued

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Four Teams Still Standing

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Pittsburgh Penguins' run to the first Stanley Cup three-peat in 35 years would have been a great story to follow but it's over. Nevertheless, the demise of Sidney Crosby & Co. hardly leaves the NHL without story lines.

In fact, the league will be full of them as the conference finals open Friday night at Tampa Bay's Amalie Arena.

It's Washington at Tampa Bay in the East to get things started, and Vegas at Winnipeg in Game 1 of the West final on Saturday. This will be the first final four in NHL history where the teams combined for just one previous Cup win, that being Tampa Bay's Game 7 triumph over Calgary in 2004. And in quite the indignity to Sabres fans, the West final features two teams who weren't even in the league in 2011, the last time Buffalo made the playoffs.

The Capitals will be playing a conference final game for the first time since 1998 – when they won Game 6 at then-Marine Midland Arena on an overtime goal by Joe Juneau that eliminated the Sabres.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

The Season Comes To An End For The Boston Bruins

from Tara Sullivan of the Boston Globe,

Every playoff elimination loss hurts, and every one feels sudden and shocking, no matter what stage of the postseason it happens or what the final score ends up being. But some definitely hurt more than others, and with this Bruins team, in this unexpected breakout season, this one hurts more. This one had a shot to win it all.

“It was definitely a team I believe that we could have done really great things,” veteran center David Krejci was saying the quiet corner of an even quieter locker room. “It’s really disappointing right now. A team like this doesn’t come around often. I’ve been here a long time, and this was one of the best teams I was a part of. From the coaching staff all the way to the last guy to the guy who wasn’t playing tonight, they were all part of the team. We all pulled the same rope. It’s really disappointing.”

There are plenty of culprits for the Game 5 loss, the same threads that put the Bruins in their inescapable hole despite a dominating 6-2 win in Game 1 of this series. The inability to generate enough offense in five-on-five situations. The indignity of being on the wrong end of too many questionable officials whistles. The insanity of earning the No. 2 overall seed yet being forced to face the No. 3 and No. 1 seeds in the opening two rounds of the playoffs.

more

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The Better Team Won In The Lightning/Bruins Series

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

Don't be fooled by close scores and by the polite words coming out of the Lightning locker room. And, true, there was a Lightning overtime victory thrown in there. But make no mistake: the team that deserved to win this series won this series.

Tampa Bay was way better than the Bruins in every way except licking people and whining about the officiating.

Solid goaltending. Timely goals. Big hits. Smothering defense. You name it. Tampa Bay bettered the Bruins in each category. The Lightning also had the best player in Brayden Point. The better coach in Jon Cooper. The better, well, everything.

This was a Boston beat down. Which is funny because Boston gets credit for just how good the Lightning has become.

more

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The Tampa Bay Lightning Advance To The Eastern Conference Final

The Lightning will face the winner of Pittsburgh/Washington.

Final score Tampa Bay 3 Boston 1 and the Bolts take the series 4-1.

Game winning goal by JT Miller.

 

 

added 6:13pm, Handshakes for everyone below...

added 6:34pm, game highlights below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- JT Miller Hit On David Backes

No update on Backes.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+backes

The Boston Bruins Need Some Makeup Calls

from Joe Haggerty of NBCSports Boston,

Like it or not, the officiating has become a major topic of conversation, and consternation, in the Bruins second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Major non-calls in the moments of truth in both Game 2 and Game 4 have been extremely problematic for the Bruins and really go beyond the simple “things will even out eventually” mistakes that commonly occur on both sides during a heated playoff series.

It’s something that’s clearly aroused the ire of the Bruins players, the Bruins head coach and a visibly steamed Bruins President that was waving his arms and yelling in the Bruins management booth as things slipped away in the third period of Friday night’s Game 4 at TD Garden.

“We tell them not to [dwell on the calls], but we’re human beings. It’s game after game after game,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy after Game 4 when asked how hard it is for his players to move past the officiating clearly hurting them in the four games played thus far against the Lightning. “We’re all kind of tired of talking about it. I think I heard someone say, suck it up and play, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to suck it up and play. I thought we did a good job with that. There was no unsportsmanlike [conducts], no warnings [from the officials] and we just tried to keep playing. That’s that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Slow Start Dooms The Boston Bruins

from Tara Sullivan of the Boston Globe,

Buy a new alarm clock.

Load up on caffeine.

Maybe take a quick lap around the building before the first puck drop.

Whatever it’s going to take for you to wake up, Bruins, now is the time to try it.

Because for the second straight game in this second-round playoff series versus Tampa, Boston was asleep at the first-period wheel, falling behind early and unable to catch up, a two-goal deficit by the end of the first period holding up until the game’s final seconds, when Steven Stamkos’s empty-netter provided the final indignity of a 4-1 Lightning win.

“You want to be the ones to throw the first punch,” defenseman Charlie McAvoy was saying afterward, a muted Bruins locker room reflecting the players’ disappointment. This is the first time they’ve trailed in a series this postseason, and the home-ice loss Wednesday night negated the advantage they’d stolen after Game 1.

contiued and watch the game highlights below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s Only One Loss For The Boston Bruins

from Tara Sullivan of the Boston Globe,

There’s little doubt Brad Marchand will hang onto the egregious no-call on his breakaway opportunity late in a Game 2 loss in Tampa and let it fuel the little ball of anger roiling inside him, fuel it all the way to the puck drop of Game 3 Wednesday night at TD Garden. And there’s similarly little chance the rest of the Bruins won’t have departed Florida’s sunny shores without a hint of regret for the slow start, the sluggish early play, and the occasional lack of physicality and offensive aggressiveness that led to their 4-2 loss in the second-round playoff series with the Lightning.

But there’s something else the Bruins will take home with them to Boston, and when you peel away the layer of frustration that comes with a night when so many things didn’t go their way, it might just matter a whole lot more.

“It’s 1-1,” Marchand said. “We’re in the middle of the playoffs. You’re not going to walk through teams. We have home ice advantage now and we go home.”

We have home ice advantage.

continued

Game highlights are below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- What Was Tuukka Rask Doing?

Strange movement by Rask.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tuukka+rask

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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