The Montreal Canadiens continue to do their part to create what would be an epic Stanley Cup Final with the Boston Bruins.
For the first time since they won their last Stanley Cup in 1993, the Canadiens have won seven in a row. After sweeping the Winnipeg Jets with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 of the North Division Final, Les Boys’ in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge, are heading to the semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs just two weeks after they fell down 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
Canadiens winger Tyler Toffoli took a beautiful cross-crease pass from rookie winger Cole Caufield to score the overtime winner 1:39 into the extra frame and set the Habs up to play either the Vegas Golden Knights or the Colorado Avalanche in the next round. The Knights and the Av’s were tied 2-2 in their West Division Final series with Game 5 later tonight. Regardless of whom they play, the Habs will be huge underdogs for a third straight series but that just seems to make them want more playoff hockey!
“We played the teams we beat nine or 10 times, but it’s good to measure ourselves against the best,” Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said after his team swept away another favorite. “(The Avalanche and Golden Knights) finished first and second in the league, (respectively), but our objective isn’t to finish here. So, if we want to get to where we want to get to, we have to beat the best teams.”
So, like the city of Boston has been for the last month over the Bruins’ playoff run so far, the city of Montreal, which is just starting to reopen from COVID restrictions and is abuzz over that and their beloved Montreal Canadiens. Ole! Ole! Ole!
Can the Bruins stave off elimination in Game 6 Wednesday and beat the Islanders in another do-or-die Game 7 and lead to a similar celebration Friday night in North Station?
The two bitter, Original 6 rivals haven’t played head-to-head for Lord Stanley since the Habs beat the Bruins in back-to-back Finals in 1977 and 1978. There have been some amazing Stanley Cup Playoffs series between the two since then – 2008 and 2011 take the crown – but nothing compares to the best rivalry in sports with the Stanley Cup on the line!
Now on to the rest of your BHN Daily Evening Edition thanks to yours truly. My apologies.
Boston Bruins BHN Coverage:
Speaking of the potential series-clincher for the New York Islanders in Game 6, what Boston Bruins goalie will they face? (BHN)
One thing is for sure, the Islanders won’t line up against forward Curtis Lazar or defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller. (BHN)
The Boston Bruins can – and to an extent rightfully so – lay some blame on the officiating, but as my partner-in-crime pointed out, those injuries and bigger internal issues are why they’re facing elimination Wednesday night in Uniondale, New York. (BHN)
Speaking of the epic rant about officiating from Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, it cost him $25,000 on Tuesday but he thought it was money well spent. (BHN)
The Islanders Side from NYI Hockey Now:
Is Islanders head coach Barry Trotz so good at working the ref’s that he doesn’t even know it? (NYI Hockey Now)
Unlike the Bruins’ powerplay, the Islanders powerplay was Carpen Diem in Game 5 (NYI Hockey Now)
Onto your Vegas Golden Knights-Colorado Avalanche coverage from National Hockey Now:
After calling out his team’s effort in the last two games, Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar changed his tune on Monday and expressed confidence that his team can get it done and force a Game 7 with the Vegas Golden Knights. (CHN)
Here’s a preview for Game 5 from Adrian Dater. (CHN)
NHL & National Hockey Now:
Unless the John Gibson speculation from earlier in the season comes to fruition or Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall can sign a proven goalie like Tuukka Rask – if he hits the free-agent market – you can throw away that rumor that the Penguins were actually thinking of exposing goalie Tristan Jarry. Or Evgeni Malkin. (PHN)
A realigned AHL will be back up and running at full strength and playing for the Calder Cup again next season. (AHL)
Could former Red Wings and current Carolina Hurricanes goalie hit unrestricted free agency in July? (Detroit Hockey Now)