Steven Stamkos is in the bubble and he's been practicing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not only has he been practicing, but he looks pretty damn good. Still no word on whether or not he'll be playing, but you have to imagine the captain would be trying to push to get back into the lineup for a run at the Stanley Cup.
So then we get to game 5 last night. Now I'm not saying that the Bolts threw this game, because clearly if that was the case then they wouldn't have gone through nearly 2 full extra overtime periods to do it. They would have just gotten shit pumped real quick in regulation. But was it in their best interest to lose game 5 and give Stammer at least a couple extra days to get his body ready for game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final once Tampa inevitably crushes the Isles' season? Let's just say the Lightning wanted to win that game last night about as badly as Jamie Benn wants to perform oral sex on a female.
You definitely don't want to let this thing get pushed to a game 7. That's where things get dicey. But the Bolts were in the perfect position after going up 3-1 in the series to pull off the gentleman's gentleman's sweep on Thursday. And everybody wins. The Lightning give Stamkos more time to heal, the NHL gets more broadcasts, and Frankie gets to spend more time with his old man. But out of all the winners from last night, the Lightning are the biggest winners. The most important win in plenty of Islanders fans' lives and all they really did was help out the other guys. Tough break. Keep your chin up.
Sidenote: The Russian goalies in these playoffs have been non-stop entertainment. From Bobrovsky sucking, to Khudobin's "we're not going home", to Varlamov's slide. Russian goalies might be in the lead right now for biggest dudes in the league.