Opposing viewpoint: On the Lightning’s ‘Big Three’ and more

TB needs more from Stamkos/By S. Bradley

Throughout the Bruins-Lightning Eastern Conference Final, TheBruinsBlog.net will collaborate on Q&A features before every game with Jon Jordan 0f Beasts of the Southeast over at Kukla’s Korner.

Here are Jon’s answers to my questions on the off day between Game 3 and 4 of the series Boston leads 2-1.

MK: So did you enjoy the Tyler Seguin era? I can tell from your questions that you did. It’s over now, you know? We’re back living in the world dominated by Tim Thomas and the defensively sharp Bruins.

Of course, maybe they wouldn’t look as sharp if the Lightning’s stars were playing at their best. To me, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier had a lot more problems not only against Zdeno Chara, but even against the other Boston defensemen than you’d expect in their first home game of the series and with the second change.

What’s your take on how the Big Three are doing?

JJ: I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear how utterly disappointed I am in Seguin not scoring even a single point last night when everyone knows he was supposed to have netted at least a hat trick. How dare he?!?!? Clearly, he is not at all cognizant of his role as not only Boston’s savior but also the lone individual who can save us all from tomorrow’s scheduled Rapture. (We can only hope that someone informs the kid before we’re all doomed.)

My take on Tampa’s “Big Three” (no longer an exercise in futility, naturally, now that Super Seguin has come back to Earth): They’re a game removed from a combined nine-point output and Lecavalier and St. Louis still have a share of the overall postseason scoring lead with 16 points apiece. Cut ‘em some damn slack!

Boston squelched the flow of the Lightning all night long and the big guns were a (big) part of that. At first, I pondered whether or not the captain, in particular, had an off night. There were times when he didn’t seem to be able to kick things into that higher gear so necessary for postseason success. But, after some second thought, a little video review and a look back at the stat sheet, Lecavalier managed five shots on goal, had several prime scoring chances and led all Lightning forwards in ice time (23:09). If he looked to be slowed on occasion, he certainly wasn’t alone – and that’s more a credit to what the Bruins were able to do.

All that having been said, what got the Bolts to this point in the playoffs, from an offensive standpoint, was the balanced contribution from their stars and depth players alike. It doesn’t matter who gets the goal(s) as long as they come. Last night, they didn’t. Period. Obviously, that’s not going to win you any hockey games.

But by and large, I don’t have any complaints about the play of these three.

Tough crowd!

MK: I know the Bruins are supposed to be the more physical team here, but isn’t anyone on the Lightning going to throw a hit or make a body-sacrificing play that turns some momentum their way? Maybe Marc-Andre Bergeron’s hit would’ve been that play had David Krejci not come back or the referee not called a penalty, but what happened to the old Steve Downie that wanted to get in everyone’s face? He looks like a shadow of himself. Other than Downie, is there anyone else on Tampa capable of doing something like this?

JJ: First of all, thank you for the forum in which to vent on that atrocious call on Bergeron. Either the officials these days are so afraid to be the guy who misses the big, illegal hit that causes someone serious injury or they’re biting on what they think they saw on plays like this one. Either way, they’re consistently calling penalties that aren’t penalties and that has to be addressed.

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