Before we get started here, let’s just hope that Jonathan Drouin learned the hard way that when you’re coming across the blueline, keep your head up and just get the puck deep in the zone. If you try to cut back into the center of the ice with your head down, well Thomas Hickey is going to make his best effort to turn you into a vegetable. But after taking what was probably the biggest clean hit of the season, Drouin returned to the game and set up the Bolts’ game-tying goal with just 38 seconds left to play.
Nose plug in and everything. This was Drouin’s 7th assist of these Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Tampa Bay Lightning took a 2-1 series lead over the Isles in overtime. Keep in mind they’re doing this all without the help of Steven Stamkos, who has been skating with the team but still weeks away from being able to play. Which is what makes Steve Yzerman’s decision to hang on to Jonathan Drouin past the trade deadline enough to earn him GM of the Year for the 2nd straight season.
Every team has at least one guy that they probably should have held on to but they gave up on too early. The Flyers have about a hundred of them but we’ll start with James vanRiemsdyk for now. The Boston Bruins have Tyler Seguin. We’ll eventually see that the Columbus Blue Jackets should have held on to Ryan Johansen when either Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujarvi need a 1C to play with. All top 5 picks, all dealt after just 3 seasons with their team. Joanthan Drouin was doing everything in his power to make sure he was the next top 5 pick that was traded away much too soon in his career but Steve Yzerman put his gigantic balls on the table and decided not to fold. I wrote back in March that Jonathan Drouin and the Tampa Bay Lightning are attempting to be the first couple to successfully “go on a break”. Well take a look at Drouin and Cooper after Boyle’s OT winner.
Does that look like a happy couple to you? Because it looks like the best type of makeup sex to me. Again, 8 points in 8 playoff games for Jonathan Drouin so far this year. Sure, he acted like a child earlier in the season but that’s because he is one. Hats off the Stevie Y for being able to realize that and having a little more competence and composure than guys like Chiarelli.
P.S. – Let ‘em know about it, Johnny