Opposing viewpoint: On Tampa’s Brewer, Hedman and Lucic’s punch

Same end result as Roloson, really, only less flashing-neon-sign-in-the-night obvious. And that’s kind of the point. Brewer gets top line match-ups, more ice time than anyone and primo responsibility in all situations. And he does the job, fanfare or not, which fits this team perfectly – all for the greater good, doesn’t matter who scores, or who does what, as long as the end result is as intended.

But a goaltender acquired with the intent of having him take over as a number one will do just that, if things work out as hoped, while people take notice, almost by default.

What Eric Brewer has done is less about what he brings to the team as an individual than it is about what he has done for the defense corps as a whole. Eating up the kind of minutes he has to this point (26-plus per game) has lessened the load on all, from d-men like the young Hedman to a seasoned veteran like Mattias Ohlund and on down the list. Brewer’s ability and experience has made the learning curve for those in need more manageable and the pressure on others heavily depended upon far less.

Talk about a perfect find…

MK: Well, it sounds like Hedman has forgiven Milan Lucic for the punch at the end of Game 1. Of course, we won’t know for sure until Game 2 starts. I can’t foresee Hedman trying to go after Lucic. Do you? Will anyone try to exact some revenge? I’m betting Steve Downie’s planning another jump of Brad Marchand (like in the ’06 WJC training camp) soon. Am I right?

JJ: I’d be stunned if Hedman made it a point to go after Lucic – or anyone else (save for Montreal’s Scott Gomez, with whom he’s had some choice encounters the last two years), for that matter – but he did say that he needs to be more prepared for that type of exchange moving forward. So, it sounds like Hedman understands the need to be ready for a little post-whistle extra lovin’ from Lucic and pals from now on.

At the same time, he’s accountable to his teammates and should be cognizant of putting his club in a bad situation by retaliating or even engaging an aggressor. At some point, of course, one has to stand up for one’s self – or a teammate – but I’m not expecting much more in the way of three-goal decisions in this series and with tighter contests comes an added importance to remain composed. As of now, I’d give the Lightning the edge in that department, given what we saw at the end of the last one added to the frustration of the loss for the Bruins.

The Bolts can take care of themselves, if need be. But there’s far more than the ol’ “man card” or personal pride at stake here. They get that. Time to move on…

Horton/By S. Bradley

MK: For me, the Lucic punch and the Nathan Horton swipe at Dominic Moore’s face right before were bush league plays. They might not be suspendable offenses, but the Bruins have to control their tempers better. Horton, especially, has had a tough time knowing when to cross the line and how to control his anger. What’s the take from Tampa on Lucic and Horton’s manhood right now? Are Lightning fans going to demonize these guys?

 

JJ: You’re right that those were inexcusable actions and, were this the regular season, I might be calling for some retribution but they gotta let that go stat.

You’re also right that the Bruins have to keep their cool. From the onset, special teams have stood out as an advantage for Tampa Bay, obviously. As the more physical team, I thought (and think) that the Bruins could easily take that past the point of temperance and give the Lightning some unnecessary power play advantages. Given the Bolts’ success to that end thus far in the playoffs, that could easily be a recipe for disaster for Boston.

Lucic and Horton’s indiscretions came when game one had already long been decided, granted, but future instances similar in nature won’t be at all conducive to Bruin success.

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