With the final horn at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins have secured their place in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals as the newly minted Eastern Conference Champion.
It's been a volatile seven game series between the B's and the Tampa Bay Lightning, filled with sideshow antics as well as some great hockey. While no one is ever thrilled with defeat, credit is due to Boston for a well played series.,
As for the Lightning, this concludes what was a surprising run in the playoffs, by a rebuilding team in year one of the franchise makeover. While the games are concluded, there will be no rest for the wary in the Bolts front office. Draft planning and free-agency decisions will be on the forefront for the next few weeks. Steve Yzerman has plenty of work ahead in getting players such as Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell under new contracts, while managing the cap so as not to handcuff the team going forward.
Once again, congratulations to the Bruins. For full coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals on SB Nation, I would like to encourage readers to check out both Stanley Cup of Chowder and Nucks Misconduct for coverage of the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks respectively.
Game 1 of the Finals will be Wednesday, June 1st, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver BC.