RTP Daily: September 1st, Bolts Clinch, Avs Survive
The Lightning punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Boston Bruins 2 (2OT), TBL Wins Series 4-1
After last year’s monumental collapse against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, no amount of regular season success would have helped the Lightning cast off the stench of failure. For a team this talented, the only thing that matters is post-season success. After steamrolling those same Blue Jackets in the first round, Tampa wrapped up a tidy five game series victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night. Victor Hedman scored the winner in the second overtime frame after the B’s had tied it late in the third period to force the extra time.
Like the other games in this series, this one was well-played for the most part and only some stellar work from both Jaroslav Halak and Andrei Vasilevskiy kept this from being a much higher-scoring affair.
Ultimately, Tampa was just too deep for Boston despite missing Steven Stamkos for the whole match-up. Meanwhile, Boston will be left to wonder what could have been after they were the toast of the regular season. Zdeno Chara was a bit circumspect about the possibility of his retiring and Brad Marchand was not the least bit pleased about the outcome:
Marchand: "It's kind of a waste of time. We spent the last three months getting ready for this and we walk away without anything to show for it. We never know if we're going to be back in the Finals, or even back in the playoffs again. Every missed opportunity hurts."— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) September 1, 2020
This series was also a good reminder of the calibre of competition that awaits the Sens in the Atlantic Division next season (whenever that is). A long road ahead awaits.
Colorado Avalanche 6, Dallas Stars 3, DAL Leads Series 3-2
In yesterday’s RTP Daily, I lamented Colorado’s slow start in Game 4 and wondered whether they had effectively thrown away their season. Was Dallas just this good?
Well, the Avs seemingly took the lessons of that game to heart, and combined with a burning desire to keep their play-off run going they absolutely blasted the Stars in the first period. Colorado led 5-0 (!!!) before the game was even fifteen minutes old. The rest of the affair was merely a formality. Andre Burakovsky, a savvy pickup from the Capitals who surely could have used his offensive skills against the New York Islanders, had a three point night and Michael Hutchinson was just good enough to keep the Stars from making things interesting. I will admit that this was a game I did not watch the second half of, so I’ll leave the in-depth analysis to others. I will say that a resounding victory like that might give some hope Colorado can climb all the way back out of their deficit. Maybe we haven’t seen the last of these young Avs just yet.