Lightning Captain Rounding into form as Playoffs near, Bolts beat Panthers 4-2

By on April 9, 2011

Tampa, Fl. (RSEN)  The Tampa Bay Lightning finished up their  home schedule tonight against the Florida Panthers and earned a workmanlike victory, 4-2 at the St Pete Times Forum.   

As a coach, you want your team playing at their peak level heading into the playoffs and teams that hoist the Stanley Cup do a few things very well.  The Lightning goaltender is playing very well, the power play is clicking on all cylinders and the best players are well frankly, playin the best.

After the game tonight, coach Guy Boucher was very pleased with his team’s play heading into the playoffs next week, saying “I tried a number of different line combinations, couple of different power play units and I saw everything I needed from my team tonight.” 

Boucher also commented on the season as a whole as he said, “I always want more, but if you would have told me that at the beginning of the year that we would be where we are now (fifth seed in playoffs) I would have taken it.”  Boucher continued, “We did all this in year one of our plan, we have accomplished a lot this year.  I am so proud of the entire organization.”

His goaltender Dwayne Roloson is playing very well at the most important team of the year.  Boucher’s goaltender has won four of his last 5 starts and in the wins he has given up two goals or less in all of those games.

In two power play opportunities they were able to move the puck and generate a number of scoring changes which included the goals by Vincent Lecavalier and Pavel Kubina.  With the talent at the forward position it should be a big strength as things get much tighter checked in the postseason.  In total the team was a respectable 2 for 4 on the power play which gives the Bolts the best power play unit in the eastern conference.

What can you say about Boucher’s best players; in particular his captain Lecavalier who has been the best player on the team since returning from injury.  That is no disrespect to Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos who are also playing well but Lecavalier is playing his best hockey of his career.  In the last 27 games, he has 16 goals and 28 points at just the right time for this team.

Boucher talked about him after the game, “Since Christmas he has been a monster to play against night in and night out.” 

Lecavalier himself credited his training while he was injured, well it doesn’t matter it’s just a pleasure to watch him play like one of the best players in NHL right now.  He is out there not thinking just reacting and his play will make this team a tough out in the NHL’s second season.

So Rocket Fans can expect a deep run from this hockey team come playoff time.  Everyone on the roster feels good about the way they are playing right now and their confidence is riding higher than at any point in the season.    

They finish up the season on the road tomorrow night in Carolina before heading off to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, as those two teams are now tied for first in the division so it will be decided on Sunday as who the Bolts will play in the playoffs.

So go out there and support Rocket Sports & Entertainment favorites, Vinnie Lecavalier, Dominic “Resonate” Moore and Ryan “Bugsy” Malone as they lead the Bolts towards the Stanley Cup.

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