The Montreal Canadiens are in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. A massive opportunity for this underdog team, as they look to surprise the defending champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning and bring Lord Stanley back to his long lost home. A stellar Game 1 effort would be key to accomplishing such a feat.
They didn’t get it. Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes for a highly disappointing series opener.
The Habs fell down somewhat early and just couldn’t seem to get back into it. An own goal by Ben Chiarot in the third opened the floodgates, and Tampa never looked back. You can’t blame Chiarot for the loss, however, as he was also the lone goal scorer for the Tricolore in addition to his own goal.
Andrei Vasilevskiy is as advertised. He didn’t really have to outplay Carey Price in the series opener, but he played well enough to make the Canadiens really think about their shots, and it may or may not have caused them to make some costly errors with the puck.
Nick Suzuki’s line had a very rough night against the Brayden Point line. I’ll talk about that, how the Habs can try to change that in Game 2, and what it means for the rest of this series if they can’t figure out how to stop what is arguably Tampa’s best trio.
The one thing the Habs can’t do is sit around feeling sorry for themselves. Game 2 goes Wednesday, and if they can get back to Montreal with a 1-1 series like they did against Las Vegas, anything can happen.