History, and it only exists in the recent variety in this series, heavily favors Boston in this series. Boston won 3 of 4 match ups in the regular season, including an 8-1 pasting of Tampa, there worst loss of the season. On top of that, Tampa has never had any good fortune in Boston in their franchise history, winning just 4 out of 35 contests in history..
Here's a better breakdown of the regular season match up:
Way back at the beginning of the season I stated how I liked Boston's chances to get out of the East. On the flip side, I don't think anyone though the Lightning would be here. We all figured Steve Yzerman would do a good job in Tampa, but to have this much success this fast?
I do not particularly like the Bruins beyond Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. But I do like the Lightning - in particular Yzerman, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Mattias Ohlund, their overachieving support cast of names like Bergenheim, Moore, and, especially, the old goaltender Dwayne Roloson. How can you not like the Roli The Goalie story? The Lightning as a group are easy to like.
I would very much like Tampa to win this series. But I do not like their chances. The Bruins goaltending and defense are formidable. Their size and physicality up front will tax Tampa's thin blue line. That, and the clock always strikes 12 on Cinderella at some point.
The loss of Patrice Bergeron could really hurt the Bruins. He is of Manny Malhotra importance in Boston, with a more significant offensive contribution. Such versatile players are greatly missed in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Let's not forget they are already without their top offensive center - Marc Savard.
Lets go with the Bruins in six.