It might not be fun for the Capitals – that’ll depend on the results – but at least they’ll get sun by playing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Here are some quick thoughts on the second-round series:
Dwayne Roloson, who is the last NHL goaltender not to wear a mask … OK, he’s not that old, but the 41-year-old seems to have a lot left in the tank. Roloson, who is now 6-0 all-time in elimination games, was the missing piece for the Lightning when Steve Yzerman acquired him this past regular season from the Islanders. Roloson had a 1.77 goals-against average and .949 save percentage vs. Pittsburgh.
Lightning strikes often
Look down Tampa Bay’s roster and there’s serious depth of offense. There are Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos – the big guns – and then such characters as Ryan Malone, Simon Gagne and even Sean Bergenheim and Dominic Moore. These are not the Rangers.
It’s a trap
Much has been discussed of Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 neutral-zone trap (and more will be written about it on this site), but it seems like Bruce Boudreau figured it out after a few meetings. Holding the puck in the defensive zone – like NHL teams did against the Soviet Red Army teams in the 1970s – seems to work. We’ll see if that continues.