Normally at this time of year, we would be talking about the draft, trades, and free agents. But not this year! Due to the pandemic and the later start to the schedule, we have a Stanley Cup final to look forward to in late June.
Not just any Stanley cup! For the first time in Stanley cup history, we will have two Eastern conference teams facing off for the cup. It has been a decade since we have seen a Canadian team playing for the cup. The Canadiens come in as a super hot team right now! They are matched up against a team that they have not faced before this year. Let’s just say this is going to be like David versus Goliath! Tampa Bay is the defending champion and is looking to be the first team to win back-to-back cups since the Penguins did it in 2016 and 17.
Carey Price has been solid in the net for Montreal. With a save percentage of .934 and goals against 2.02, he has been coming up big in big-time moments! Leading the Canadiens back in the first round against Toronto and in the finals against Las Vegas.
Tampa Bay is, well, Tampa Bay. A very strong team. Tampa finished with 75 points in the regular season and advanced to the finals by beating the Islanders in a hard-fought seven-game series. They are led in the playoffs by Brayden Point; he has 14 goals and 19 points in 18 games. Goalie Semyon Varlamov is coming off a shut-out win against the New York Islanders to get Tampa Bay to the Stanley cup final.
The Canadiens are definitely the Cinderella of these playoffs after being the last team from their division to qualify for the playoffs with 59 points; much wasn't expected by them in the playoffs. With Tampa Bay being almost a three to one favorite to win the series in most Vegas casinos, it seems like much isn't expected of them in this series either. But Montreal plays solid defense and doesn't make mistakes; they will also have all of Canada on their side to bring the cup back home. Tampa Bay has star power all over the ice and is motivated to bring the cup home for a second straight year. If you’re someone who likes a little action to add a little spice, lay the big price with Tampa Bay. They will repeat. And Brandon Point to win the Conn Smythe Trophy going off at 5/1.
It should be a fun Stanley cup to watch! Get your popcorn and drinks out, people. It's time to decide who takes the cup home.