We’re down to the conference finals now and with Boston taking on Tampa Bay and San Jose facing off with Vancouver we’ve got a healthy amount of intrigue to deal with.
In the Eastern Conference you’ve got a classic coaching matchup with Claude Julien’s Bruins and Guy Boucher’s Lightning facing off. On one side you’ve got Boston with its punishing defense and goaltending featuring Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas while the Lightning have the trio of Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier along with 41 year-old Dwayne Roloson in goal.
In the Western Conference there’s the top team in the NHL in Vancouver with Roberto Luongo in goal and surrounded by Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and playoff hero Ryan Kesler. San Jose storms in with oodles of talent of their own with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Dany Heatley and Antti Niemi in goal.
The matchups are great, the possibilities are many, but what we want to know from you is… Who is going to win the Stanley Cup now? Let us know in our poll who you’ve got raising Lord Stanley’s Cup in June.
Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.
In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.
Many believe that hit was legal:
The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.
In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.
This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.
That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:
(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)
Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.
Other than putting an icebag over his nose, Jonathan Drouin seemed fine post-game. "He's a warrior," goalie Ben Bishop said.