Every playoff season features a few players that emerge from obscurity to take a starring role.
This spring, Tampa Bay forward Sean Bergenheim is one of those new-found heroes.
In the Lightning’s Game 4 clinching against Washington last night, he scored twice, including the go-ahead goal 4:41 into the second period, to earn a 5-3 win and a series sweep of the Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Bergenheim is the TheBruinsBlog.net Star of the Night.
With seven goals in 11 postseason games, Bergenheim is on fire. He scored just 14 during the regular season. The Lightning can now take a few days, or maybe even a week, to rest up for their Eastern Conference finals match-up.
John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times studied the case of the 27-year-old Bergenheim after the huge victory.
Naturally, the temptation is to lump him in with the great one-hit wonders of the postseason. To compare him to Gene Tenace of the 1972 Athletics. Maybe Timmy Smith of the 1987 Redskins, or Chris Kontos of the 1989 Los Angeles Kings.
And, 10 years from now, perhaps those comparisons will be real. But as of now, Bergenheim’s legacy is still to be written.
The Bruins might have a front-row seat to the Bergenheim story if they can advance to face Tampa Bay. Whichever team is the Lightning’s next opponent will have to figure out a way to end his fairy tale early.
Honorable mention: Dwayne Roloson (33-for-36 saves) and Martin St. Louis (1-1-2) of Tampa Bay; Devin Setoguchi (3G, GWG OT), Dan Boyle (1-1-2), Antti Niemi (38-for-41 saves) and Joe Thornton (3A) of San Jose; Nicklas Lidstrom (1-1-2) of Detroit; David Krejci (1-2-3), Zdeno Chara (2-1-3) and Tim Thomas (37-for-38 saves) of Boston.
Last night’s scores
Boston 5, Philadelphia 1
Tampa Bay 5, Washington 3
San Jose 4, Detroit 3 (OT)
Vancouver at Nashville, 8:30