Montreal v. Tampa Bay: Hopes & Predictions
Well, they freaking did it. The Montreal Canadiens beat Vegas and the odds by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Now they get to face reigning champ Tampa Bay. This week, I’m here to give you my hopes and my predictions for the Stanley Cup Finals.
Montreal-Tampa Bay: The Hope
There’s nothing quite like a feel-good rags-to-riches underdog story. That’s exactly what the Canadiens are this season. Montreal barely made it into the playoffs, and yet have managed to persevere past 3 good (on paper) teams. They have veterans like Carey Price stepping up and playing at the top of his game. They have rookies like Cole Caufield breaking out and racking up points. Everyone is pulling the rope equally.
Personally, I would love to see this team hoist the Cup this year. They’re a likable group of guys (I won’t argue with you about Corey Perry, sorery). Like I said last week, they’re plucky. They have the mental fortitude to face teams much better than them without blinking. The 2021 Canadiens are a team of destiny. It would be a tragic end if they lost in the Finals.
Montreal-Tampa Bay: The Prediction
That being said, I’m guessing the Lightning win in 6.
That really pains me to say. I can’t put my finger on why, but I really don’t like Tampa Bay. Maybe it’s that they’re somehow stacked or that they’re a Florida hockey team (seems like an oxymoron). Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t like the same team winning the Cup twice in a row. I can’t explain it.
But, as much as I don’t like them, I can’t deny that the Lightning are good. They have an insanely talented pool of players to pick from. Their 4 lines are all quality, as are the players waiting in the wings. They have good coaching. Their fans are passionate enough that they can sway a game. There are too many good things going for Tampa Bay for me to bet against them.
I don’t think this will be the sweep that everyone else seems to believe. The Canadiens have a lot of fight left in them; they’ll win at least 1. It’s going to be an interesting series, for sure. It’s a match-up no one saw coming. If this post-season is any indication, anything can happen.
-Heidi Thomas (@DamselOnDrums)
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