Kukla's Korner

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After Four Games In Round 2

from Kristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

What have the first four games of each series taught us? And how will those lessons impact the rest of the round and beyond?

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the team to beat

If the Lightning weren't favored to three-peat as Stanley Cup champs going into the playoffs, they might be now. Tampa Bay dismantled the Florida Panthers in a second-round series sweep that was impressive for how effortless it appeared. The Lightning are headed for their third straight Eastern Conference finals appearance and sixth in eight years. Few teams in this era can sustain that kind of success season over season. Tampa Bay is doing it before our eyes.

The real revelation in the series against Florida, though, was Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. His stunning play (.981 save percentage, 0.75 goals against average, capped off by a shutout in Game 4) defied superlatives. The Panthers averaged more regular-season goals (4.11 per game) than anyone, and Vasilevskiy made them look feeble as Tampa Bay outscored them 13-3. That dominance by Vasilevskiy wasn't guaranteed, either, after how he played in the first-round matchup against Toronto. His numbers there through six games (.885 SV%, 3.37 GAA) were average, but in Game 7, he rose to the occasion (30 saves, .968 SV%) and pushed Tampa Bay through.

The Lightning will face New York or Carolina next. It's an unenviable assignment for either of them. The Lightning have only gotten stronger in this postseason. The limit to their potential might not exist.

the rest of the teams...

Yes, the Lightning are the team to beat.  In order to beat the champs you have to knock them out and I have yet to see a team that can do so

Betway is the place to visit and you may want to choose the Tampa Bay Lightning for all of your betting choices.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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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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