After watching the Tampa Bay Lightning go seven games with a Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin-less Pittsburgh Pengins team in the first round of the playoffs, one might have expected Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to make quick work of them in Round No. 2.
Instead, it was the opposite, with Tampa Bay looking like the far superior team in each game of its four-game sweep.
Now, the Bruins and Lightning will square off with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. Given each team's strengths and conflicting styles of play, it should be a fun matchup.
While the Bruins put up some hefty goal totals in their own four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers, each team's respective statistics over the course of the regular season suggests that the upcoming series will be a classic offense versus defense showdown.
The Bruins' defensive and goaltending success is no secret. They have a defense that prides itself on clogging up the opponent's shooting lanes and a Vezina-worthy goaltender in Tim Thomas. The combination even drew the praise of the Philadelphia Flyers on the heels of the Bruins' sweep.
The Lightning, on the other hand, have shown an uncanny ability to score in bunches this season, due in large part to the plethora of offensive weapons at its disposal.
Steven Stamkos, despite being only 21 years old, finished second in the NHL in goals this season with 45. Martin St. Louis, who is 14 years older than Stamkos, scored 31 goals himself and registered a team-high 99 points.
Even the team captain, Vincent Lecavalier, managed to score 25 goals and rack up 54 points despite missing 17 games.
When you add Simon Gagne, Teddy Purcell, Ryan Malone and even Sean Bergenheim, who's burst onto the scene in the playoffs with a team-high seven goals, it's easy to see why the Lightning have had such offensive succuess.
Some teams struggle night in and night out to find a reliable goal scorer. But the Lightning boast multiple guys who can take over a game.
So which offensive player should the Bruins be most concerned about in their upcoming series with the Lightning? Share your thoughts below.
Friday, May 6th: Which Bruin has to step up and play the role of closer?
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