The final series, everything on the line. It’s all here! Many people expected the Tampa Bay Lightning to be here again but the Habs? Well, let’s just say some people were surprised they even made it into the playoffs with the way their season was going. My view is, the playoffs are a whole different season and the Habs won the games they needed to win to make it in then completely turned things around when it mattered the most. The notion that they don’t deserve to be in the finals is absolute nonsense even if they are your most despised team.
New York Islanders 0, Tampa Bay Lightning 1, (TBL wins series 4-3)
The Islanders gave the Bolts a lot more work than they expected. After being completely crushed in Game 5, they came back roaring in Game 6 to push the series to 7 games. I have always said the Isles were an underrated team with a lot of difference-maker type of players. The problem is, the Bolts know they’re good and unlike a few seasons ago, they’re not taking anything for granted, they come out a hungry team every night. The Isles on the other hand fell to frustrations at times and you could tell by their numerous physical altercations and unwarranted cross checking on Tampa players, which only seemed to fuel the opponent. Add to that, the incredible play of Andrei Vasilevskiy and you get a team that is truly hard to beat.
The Isles grabbed the attention of the fans now and the expectations are much higher for next season but even though the series went to 7 games, Tampa was always the better team.
The big game. All the excitement! All the anticipation! Most Sens fans are really not enjoying watching the Habs in this series but here we are. Tampa Bay is coming off a hard fought series while the Habs have had a bit more rest coming off a series that most people didn’t expect them to win. Will the momentum of their “magical run” help them stay the course in this series? They will be once again without their coach Dominique Ducharme to start the series but he is expected to return in Game 3. That being said, Luke Richardson has done a fantastic job so far and I don’t think coaching is an area of concern for the Habs. The biggest story of this series will be the goalie matchup, in particular how well Carey Price will play in what will be the most important few games of his career.
This should be a fun series to watch for hockey fans; may the best team win!