Game On: Brian Boyle says the Rangers are in his way

Ryan Callahan (Getty)

Ryan Callahan (Getty)

The Eastern Conference Final will begin today and already the subplots lead the way in headlines. Everyone is aware that both sides have former players on it including Marty St. Louis and Ryan Callahan. Both were part of the “Captain Swap” trade from last season.

Dan Boyle also a former member of the Lightning before heading to San Jose will be feeling the wave of emotion in this series. Two members of the Lightning who left the Rangers via free agency will be looking to take out their former team. Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle were both members of the Rangers run to the Cup that fell short. It was Brian Boyle who fired the first salvo.

[su_quote cite=”TB TIMES” url=”http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/lightning/stralman-on-facing-rangers-knew-it-was-going-to-happen/2229699″]”They’re standing in the way is the way we look at it,” Boyle said. “That’s a team we’ve got to beat to get to the next step of the whole process. It’s something we’re excited about. It’s a fun place to play. I’m sure they’re looking at it the same way. From what I went through last year, how motivated I am to accomplish something I haven’t accomplished. It’s an important time. It’s a great opportunity.[/su_quote]

Anton Stralman had a different perspective:

[su_quote cite=”TB TIMES” url=”http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/lightning/stralman-on-facing-rangers-knew-it-was-going-to-happen/2229699″]”Obviously it’s been in the back of my mind the whole time,” Stralman said. “Ever since the playoffs started, I just knew it was going to happen. I just felt it. It’s ironic for sure.”[/su_quote]

Former Blueshirts captain, Ryan Callahan added this:

[su_quote cite=”TB TIMES” url=”http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/lightning/stralman-on-facing-rangers-knew-it-was-going-to-happen/2229699″]”A lot of emotions,” said Callahan, acquired by Tampa Bay at last year’s deadline in the St. Louis blockbuster. “I think the biggest is we’re in the conference finals. No matter who the opponent is, we’ve got a chance to move on. It’s going to be a lot of emotions obviously being back there for a playoff game, and I’m excited. It’s an exciting time of year.”[/su_quote]

MSL (Getty)

MSL (Getty)

Of course, Martin St. Louis told the Tampa media that he’s a Rangers by saying:

[su_quote cite=”TB TIMES” url=”http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/lightning/stralman-on-facing-rangers-knew-it-was-going-to-happen/2229699″]”It’s the conference finals, there should be a lot of fuel on the fire,” St. Louis said after practice Friday. “There’s been a lot of good players on that team since I’ve been there, but I know the history and everybody will make a big story out of it and rightfully so. But for me it’s just a team standing in my way right now.” [/su_quote]