BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Bruins great Derek Sanderson is confident the B’s can close out the Eastern Conference Finals in Tampa Bay Wednesday Night, but knows it will not be easy.
“I think they can take it there,” Sanderson told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton. “I don’t think Tampa is going to be easy by any stretch. I would not bet the mortgage, I wouldn’t bet the house. I would lay off, don’t bet. Just watch the game.”
Steve Burton 1 on 1 with Derek Sanderson Part 1
“They deserve to be here,” Sanderson said of his former team. “They have the best goaltender I have seen in a Boston uniform, comparable with Hall of Famer Gerry Cheevers.”
Sanderson also touched on the Bruins power play, which goes into Game 6 an abysmal 4-for-56 in the playoffs and 2-for-19 against Tampa Bay.
“It has to do something,” said Sanderson, who urged the fans not to place all the blame on defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who has been a major disappointment since being acquired at the trade deadline.
“You can’t lay it all on the feet of one player, it’s a team game,” he said, also noting it is tough to adapt to a new scheme mid-season. “The best player in the history of hockey was Bobby Orr, and he’d have trouble on that power play.”
Steve Burton With Derek Sanderson Part 2
“I like what they did the other night, moving Chara up there,” Sanderson said of Zdeno Chara playing down by the net on the man-advantage. “You have to try different bodies. I like Seguin, he has the best pair of hands on the team. He’s fast. He has a lot to learn defensively, and that is why he is somewhat suspect. But this kid can play and he has the knack for scoring.”
Seguin is not the only rookie that Sanderson likes on the Bruins.
“Marchand is a jewel, a gem,” the two-time Stanley Cup champion said. “He’s a diamond in the rough. He’ll get in your face; he’s good with the puck and he has nice set of hands. He doesn’t quit on the puck.”
His highest praise, however, went to Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron who leads the team with 15 postseason points.
“He’s got a big heart, he is the all around consummate player,” said Sanderson. “He’s a bruin.”
While Sanderson hopes the series does not come down to a Game 7 in Boston on Friday, the Bruins do have one thing going for them if it does.
“They still have Tim Thomas, and (the Lightning) don’t have him,” he said.
Every game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Bruins and Lightning can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub with pregame coverage beginning 60 minutes before each game with the Dunkin Donuts Bruins Pregame show.