Ramblings: Lightning Take Commanding Lead, Eriksson Ek Signs Long Term, Keith Trade Rumors (July 3)

Ian Gooding

2021-07-03

The clock is close to striking midnight on the Cinderella Canadiens. The balance of play might not be indicating that the Habs are being dominated, as with a little more luck they could down only 2-1 or maybe even up 2-1. However, Tampa has proven throughout the playoffs that they can win any type of game. High-scoring game, low-scoring game, finesse game, physical game, scorers, goaltending, you name it. If you're looking for a miracle from the Habs, you're not going to find it. History has shown that a 3-0 lead is practically insurmountable, and the Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup champions for a reason. It’s quite possible that the Stanley Cup is awarded on Monday night.

Of all of Tampa's scorers to lead the team in a 6-3 win in Game 3, Tyler Johnson turned out to be the guy. Johnson scored two goals with a plus-2 and four shots on goal while logging just nine minutes in icetime. Johnson is having a decent final with points in back-to-back games, and he has taken at least two shots over his last four games. This might be his last hurrah with the Lightning, as the Bolts will need to cut some serious payroll in the offseason. The Seattle Kraken might seem like an option because Johnson is from the state of Washington, but the Kraken will also have lots to choose from and don’t need to pick a player because he is a local boy and they have oodles of cap space.

Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and added an assist along with six shots. He's running away with the playoff scoring lead with 32 points in 21 games, a full nine points ahead of second-place Brayden Point. Many of the Dobber writers (myself included) were drawn into Brayden Point's goal streak when making our Conn Smythe picks, but Dobber himself was the only one to buck the trend and go with Kucherov. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if it is Kucherov. In fact, he's put together a two-year run that has been matched by only Gretzky and Lemieux.

Ondrej Palat recorded two assists and eight hits, giving him seven po