Montreal's belief: battling the cap-busting Tampa Bay Lightning

T. Tadi
July 1, 2021  (10:24)

Even though the Tampa Bay Lightning were nearly $19 million over their salary cap and probably the best team in the league, Montreal was believing.

Since the beginning of the playoffs, the CH has managed to do what no one saw them doing. The kings of the North, now the kings of the West, had the hope of beating a superior club for a fourth time.
Of course, the Bolts had the home ice advantage and the ideal mission for the Canadiens would have been to take the score to 1-1 before heading to the Bell Centre, as they had done in Toronto and Vegas. The first game went one way, with Kucherov and his crew winning 5-1. Why is that a concern? The last three Stanley Cup winners lost their first game, so let's roll up our sleeves and win the next one!
Game two begins, the Glorious arrive with the knife between their teeth, dominating the shots on goal with 43 to 23. The problem is Andrei Vasilevskiy. His club in front of him was okay, but not more so, against the Canadiens. When it comes to stealing a game, this is a perfect example. The Habs were on a mission and delivered the goods to win, as they had done against Toronto, Winnipeg or Vegas.
But this time, it wasn't enough. Montreal is mostly used to seeing its own goaltender steal games from the opposition, with the powerful reputation of Carey Price. After Connor Hellebuyck and Marc-Andre Fleury, the last two Vezina Trophy winners, Vasilevskiy was supposed to be just a third challenge, plain and simple.
Even in a 3-1 loss, the Bleu-blanc-rouge delivered one of their best performances of the playoffs to hope to win against the perennial favorites. Not only was it not enough, but one wonders what can be enough to beat a club that is well over the salary cap.
What can you do against this powerful goalie, who after 43 attempts had only one weakness? What can you do against such a developed defense, with two former CH players in Sergachev and Mcdonagh? What can we do against this powerful offense, which we try by all means to limit, with Stamkos, Point and Kucherov, three among many others in Tampa Bay?
We don't know if in the locker room, we found ways to still hope to win the precious trophy, but one thing is for sure, we are without words, the day after this second game with a frustrating ending. A goal at 0.3 seconds of the second half, which made all the difference.
JULY 1   |   179 ANSWERS
Montreal's belief: battling the cap-busting Tampa Bay Lightning

Will the Montreal Canadiens win Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals vs the Tampa Bay Lightning?

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