May 8, 2011

Bruins and Bolts - Catamount Teamates - Nose 2 Nose !!!

Flyers over the Bruins in 5, and Washington over Tampa in 6; those were my two picks that I discussed in my last article. After the events of the second round, I was ashamed at my own amateur picks. I thought I was standing pretty before the second round started, but boy were my picks wrong. Thomas stole the series for Boston, and Tampa outplayed Washington in four straight games. Two sweeps that I never saw coming. If there’s one thing we can learn from the Flyers/Bruins series, it’s that goaltending can make or break a team’s playoff run. Tim Thomas played out of this world, stealing goals from the Flyers every game. On the other hand you had Boucher, Bob and Leighton sharing net time for the Flyers, with a combined save percentage of lowly .881, compared to Thomas’ stellar .937 save percentage. Thomas and Roloson should give the hockey world a great show over the next two weeks. Tampa and Boston will face off in the third round of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The series will get underway later this week, with Boston carrying home ice advantage. I think goaltending will be the deciding factor. If Thomas plays the way he did against Philly, Tampa will have their hands full. Goal scorers like Gagne, Lecavalier, Stamkos and St. Louis will undoubtedly put pressure on Thomas; however a chance to play for the Stanley Cup is up for either team to grab.

Being a University of Vermont graduate myself, I am impressed by the leadership of former Catamount teammates, Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas. Both guys lead by example. St. Louis’ ability to control game flow, and make plays sets him apart from most hockey players. He makes passes other players could only dream of making, like saucy backhanders across the ice to an open Stamkos for a fiery one timer. I’m sure Thomas and St. Louis love facing off against each other, and this series will only add to their legacies.

- Matt Gamelin

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