the admiral

Rite of Spring '14: Can you fall asleep with a panic switch?

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I seriously thought Boston would annihilate Montreal and win the entire thing. Was Montreal for real (their performance in the Conference Finals was questionable, Carey Price or not) or is Boston's window closing? I definitely would not put them in the same class as Chicago or L.A. regardless.

I think many people on here agreed that the Habs were the worst draw Boston could have gotten in the Eastern Conference bracket. That and the fact that Marchant decided to play "skill-goal hockey" despite sucking at it at the worst possible time. Escape the Habs and, unlike the Rangers and pretty much any other East team, the Bruins would have matched-up very well in the Cup Final against either Chicago or LA.

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I wouldn't say that Boston's window is closing, but they really have to worry about the collapse/attrition rates for Chara and Iginla, and as smooth as Boston's assembly line appears to be, those aren't roster spots where you just plug in some P-Broons and keep at it. One does not simply replace Zdeno Chara, blah blah internet meme. All that being said, they have the depth to manage ice time for both and still excel. Still the class of the East, and with Rutherford coming in to instill his puppy-crap-soft brand of hockey on the Penguins (which to me seems akin to spreading butter on bacon), they don't exactly have much in their rear view mirror. Tampa's #2 in the East if anyone is.

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The Lightning blueline needs some retooling. Victor Hedman has taken the next step and he is either nearing or already at Norris levels of production and calibre, but he doesn't have a real partner and, really, there's no other D on the roster right now who should be slated any higher than a #4 (maaaaaaaaaaaybe #3 in Matt Carle's case) on most rosters. I love that Radko Gudas loves to hit everything that moves, and maybe the 'Hawks could've used Gudas injuring Kris Versteeg again this season, but, well, I don't want him playing above the bottom pairing.

Fortunately, there are useful D's on the market who are affordable and can fill in the voids. Anton Stralman would look really nice right about now, for example. With the available cap space and funds, there's room to improve this area on the roster.

But, yeah, still have to deal with the Bruins, in any case. That's not gonna be a pleasant thing to deal with, especially when it's noted that the Lightning have lost seven straight to the Bruins and have only five wins in Boston in their 21 years in the NHL.

--

Thanks for indirectly reminding me about the biggest positive in the Rangers SCF defeat --> no Cup for Martin St. Louis. Damned if that guy won the Cup three months after his shenanigans. Thanks for the favor, LA.

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If Tampa adds Drouin and doesn't lose Stamkos to another freak accident, I don't see why they would step back.

While I do really like Ben Bishop (I wanted the Sens to trade Anderson, whose value was at its peak at the time, instead of Bishop), I don't see him putting up a Vezina-nominated performance again next season. But if Drouin's extra year of junior allows him to step into a top-six role seamlessly, Hedman builds off of the success he had this season, and Stamkos scores around 60 again that might not matter. They'll most likely be a playoff team, but with the updated playoff format the road is always going to lead to Boston at some point.

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Bishop doesn't need to have a Vezina year. He just has to allow fewer than his team scores and not get hurt. The former will be easy because he's really big. The latter will be hard because he's really big.

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Bishop doesn't need to have a Vezina year. He just has to allow fewer than his team scores and not get hurt. The former will be easy because he's really big. The latter will be hard because he's really big.

his backup is also really big and, uhh, also really sucks, so I'm not sure it's nearly as simple as you make it sound.

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Bishop doesn't need to have a Vezina year. He just has to allow fewer than his team scores and not get hurt. The former will be easy because he's really big. The latter will be hard because he's really big.

his backup is also really big and, uhh, also really sucks, so I'm not sure it's nearly as simple as you make it sound.

There's not a backup for next year yet. Expect to see a veteran career backup type guy sign a one year deal.

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Montoya, maybe? I have to think that he's out of Winnipeg, what with Hutchinson and possibly Reimer being in the mix (and Pavelec likely being sent packing).

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I tried to watch as much of the playoffs as possible. It was truly entertaining. With that, I'm hopping aboard the hockey moose... Or whatever Canadians commute on :P

CBJ has a new fan. #anyonebutLA

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Montoya, maybe? I have to think that he's out of Winnipeg, what with Hutchinson and possibly Reimer being in the mix (and Pavelec likely being sent packing).

You're thinking in the same vein as many Lightning fans, myself included. Al Montoya would be a perfect backup for next season. Lindback is an RFA and I expect him to get flipped somewhere else because not only is it not working out in Tampa for him, but the Lightning have Gudlevskis and Vasileviskiy (sic?) in Syracuse. He wasn't dealt the fairest hand, but in any case it's time for both sides to split.

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#TampaJacked

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'Al Montoya, a good Lightning too' just doesn't have the same ring to it though

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He's a good Bolt too.

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I'd take Montoya in Chicago if the organization cuts bait on Raanta or has him start in Rockford again. I don't know where Pababib will end up. I hope it's the moon.

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Montoya is a solid backup who can start for extended periods if the main guy goes down. I hate to see him leave, but Hutchinson looks to be the guy of the future. If the Jets can get Reimer to help him along, I can see Pavs getting his compliance buyout sooner rather than later.

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Yeah, I really like Stravinsky. Schoenberg, too. I'm fun at parties.

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Stravinsky is the Ovechkin of classical music. Started off strong, had tons of promise, but could just never win a Cup.

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