Who would’ve thunk it? The Tampa Bay Lightning have swept the Washington Capitals. That makes for seven straight wins for the Bolts. This is the first real shocker of the 2011 playoffs. Clearly there are going to be big changes chez les Caps – and maybe it is time for them to think of a future sans Alexander Ovechkin.

But of course that’s not what interests us ’round these parts. I don’t know about you but I am 100-percent on the Bolts bandwagon. The franco media has been stirring this one up for a while and with good reason. Tampa has more Quebecois players than any other team in the League, including the Habs, led by Montreal-area superstars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, the latter who is having a just unbelievable post-season and is leading the playoff points race with 13 points. The Bolts also have defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, who played for the Habs last year, and who scored Wednesday night with one of his trademawrk Howitzers from the blue-line that came in so handy with the Canadiens last year. Tampa’s rookie general manager Steve Yzerman also picked up Simon Gagne, who is out with a concussion right now.

 The Quebec contingent is, of course, fronted by Tampa head coach Guy Boucher, who was in the Canadiens system as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Boucher is one of the most exciting young coachs in the NHL and it’s a pleasure to watch his intense style behind the bench – quite the opposite of the oh-so-boring I-don’t-ever-talk-to-my-players style of Jacques Martin.

I call them the mini-Habs – and as a Habs fan, you have to feel a little conflicted about the fact that a team coached by a guy from the Canadiens organization featuring some Quebec stars is still playing and the Hab-nots are on the golf green. Do you know the part that burns me the most? Dominic Moore. Here’s a real good role player who was with the Habs last season and who begged Habs GM Pierre Gauthier to keep him. Gauthier said he wasn’t interested.  This year he scored 18 goals and nabbed 32 points, and he already has two goals and six assists in these playoffs. That’s someone who could’ve been handy in that heart-breaking Bruins series.

Still I’m not a bitter guy – Go Bolts Go!

– Brendan


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