WEST: As the Conference Finals move forward, the competition has gotten more aggressive and the passion for the game has become more prevalent with each day that goes by. With Vancouver leading the series 2-1 they can take a convincing lead tonight at HP Pavilion Center or the series can be tied up to travel back to Vancouver for a sure to be entertaining game five.
EAST: Yesterday, Tampa Bay made it clear that they want to go all the way after rallying back to win 5 – 3 after being down 3 – 0 going into the second period. After some lineup adjustments in between periods; Tampa Bay’s head coach Guy Boucher pulled starting goalie Dwayne Roloson and put back up goalie Mike Smith in net. Now the Lightning came out ready to play. When the puck dropped in the second, it was like an entirely different team as the Bolts put three behind Boston goalie Tim Thomas within 3:58. Just like that the game was tied.
With bad turnovers, non-executed power plays, and momentum shifts any thing could happen in playoff hockey. Every second counts and every period is bigger than the last. According to NHL.com, Ryan Malone, a Lightning forward said it best, “It’s now best-of-three. We know nothing’s really been accomplished, and they’re going to be ready. It’s going to be a battle to the end. We’re expecting seven games.”
With the East battling game for game, the West plays game four this afternoon. Vancouver is up 2-1 in the series, but San Jose is playing in front of their home crowd. With some good turnovers, taking advantage of power plays and smart play making the Sharks could send this back to Vancouver tied up.
If San Jose takes advantage of a shaky Roberto Luongo than anything is possible out West. The Stanley Cup Conference Finals has been a great journey so far. It should be exciting to see what two teams prevail take on the next challenge, the greatest challenge: the chance at raising Lord Stanley.