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Bruins v Lightning - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Yzerman making winning moves as rookie GM

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

If King Midas were brought to life, he'd currently occupy the general manager's office at the St. Pete Times Forum and be going by the name Steve Yzerman.

It seems like everything Yzerman has touched has turned to gold during his 50-week tenure with the team. From free agent moves to trades to hiring a coach, it's tough to find any failures in Yzerman's first season as an NHL general manager.

The Lightning finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. After beating Pittsburgh and sweeping top-seeded Washington, they will start their first conference finals series since 2004 on Saturday night against the Bruins in Boston.

Part of that success has come from the players Yzerman inherited, among them Hart Trophy finalist Martin St. Louis, captain Vincent Lecavalier and third-year forward Steven Stamkos. But another part has come from the players Yzerman added since joining the franchise May 26, 2010.
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Bergeron's absence opens door for Seguin

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

By the time the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, it will have been eight days since Boston was last in action. Obviously, the players for both teams are itching to get back at it, but it's probably not a stretch to say Bruins center Tyler Seguin is itching more than most.

"It's the position I never wanted to be in (seeing a teammate get injured), but now I get my opportunity. One of our best players is injured, but injuries are a part of the game. You can't replace a guy like (Bergeron), but I'm going to go out there and work my hardest."
-- Tyler Seguin

Seguin, the second pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, has yet to play in the postseason, but is expected to make his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the series opener.

"It's tough watching," Seguin told the media Wednesday. "But you've got to do whatever you can, whether it's keeping a good vibe and even pregame skates and keeping everyone loose, and you get ready to go. There's a lot of stuff you see from up top that maybe you can't describe, but there's a lot more space when you're looking up there and you try to take that to the ice.

"It's a big stage and I'm just really excited."
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New England roots run deep for Bruins, Bolts

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

"Actually, Dwayne Roloson had an impact on my life. When I was recruited to go to college, it was originally just Michigan Tech and UMass-Lowell. Vermont came in late. Dwayne Roloson was returning (to UML) as a senior and was an All-American as a junior. Coach (Bruce) Crowder was up front with me and told me I could red-shirt or maybe play two or three games. So I decided not to go to UMass-Lowell because of Dwayne Roloson, which of course over all these years changes how everything worked out." -- Tim Thomas

BOSTON -- The Eastern Conference Finals get under way between Boston and Tampa Bay this week and it will be eXtra special for several players from each team.
 
A bevy of Bruins and Lightning players, including Tim Thomas, Dwayne Roloson, Martin St. Louis, Dominic Moore, Mike Lundin and Teddy Purcell, all share common roots that grow all the way back to Boston, New England and the TD Garden.
 
"Actually," said Thomas, the Bruins' starting goalie, "Dwayne Roloson had an impact on my life. When I was recruited to go to college, it was originally just Michigan Tech and UMass-Lowell. Vermont came in late. Dwayne Roloson was returning (to UML) as a senior and was an All-American as a junior. Coach (Bruce) Crowder was up front with me and told me I could red-shirt or maybe play two or three games. So I decided not to go to UMass-Lowell because of Dwayne Roloson, which of course over all these years changes how everything worked out."
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Seguin ready to seize first playoff opportunity

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

Boston rookie forward Tyler Seguin has not had the best of months. Now, he gets a chance to change that.

A star everywhere he has ever been, Seguin has spent the past month watching Stanley Cup Playoff games from the press box. The only time he has seen the ice has been for practices and pre-game skates -- basically teases of what could be.

It has been an incredibly humbling existence for the player taken No. 2 in this past summer's Entry Draft. He was supposed to be a difference-maker for this club -- and, by all accounts, he will be one someday soon.

But he wasn't when the playoffs rolled around this spring, so he was scratched.

Now, though, the 19-year-old rookie, who had 11 goals and 11 assists in 74 games during the regular season, gets his chance.

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In latest Cup run, St. Louis now the grizzled vet

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the first extended run through the NHL postseason for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis.
 
St. Louis was 29 then, but in only his fourth season as a full-time NHL player. And while he won the Art Ross Trophy for finishing with a League-high 94 points, he knew it was the team's veterans that were going to set the tone in the playoffs -- among them team captain Dave Andreychuk, forward Tim Taylor and defenseman Darryl Sydor.
 
"It was amazing to have those guys to guide us through the ups and downs," St. Louis said. "You're a young guy, you don't have that experience. You look up to those guys, they've been through it. You watch those guys on TV. They've been through it and when things don't go well you can't wait for them to say something. And when things go well, they're the ones that keep things in perspective and calm you down."
 
Now a 35-year-old with 12 seasons under his belt, St. Louis -- along with current captain Vincent Lecavalier, also a member of the '04 championship team -- has moved into the role of elder statesman on a team packed with younger players. Of the 23 players to get into a game for the Lightning during this playoff run, eight -- among them Steven Stamkos, Sean Bergenheim and Victor Hedman -- were making their NHL postseason debuts. Plus youngsters Mattias Ritola (one game) and Steve Downie (six games) were relative playoff newcomers. 
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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis