TAMPA -- The New York Rangers used to call Anton Stralman "Mr. Casual" because nothing seemed to excite him, not even the biggest games, including five Game 7s he played with them from 2012-14.
The Rangers won all those Game 7s. Now they're hoping Stralman's unwavering poise and uncanny ability to play a fast game in slow motion doesn't catch on with the rest of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Stralman has been a leader by example for the Lightning this season, and they'll need to take their cues from him in a hostile road environment if they want to reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
"When the pressure is at its highest and somebody walks out of there as calm as can be, that's Anton Stralman," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Our team, you just hear the guys on the bench praise him, the things he's done for us. Having that confidence that we get to throw him over the boards every second shift, it's just a luxury for us."