Tonight the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final began with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens. Game 1 went down in Tampa Bay and this one had the Lightning taking home the W.
Out the gate Montreal was having a rough one. It was trip city before the game even started.
Habs fell behind real quick. They were turning over pucks left and right, they couldn’t keep the puck in their own zone. It was a mess. Then Erik Cernak took advantage of the Hab’s follies and gave the Lightning a 0-1 lead just 6:19 into the game. The physicality, however, was far from lacking. In just the first 20 minutes, there were 45 hits — 26 from Montreal and 19 from Tampa. Both teams have their big scrappy guys so no shock. Plus mix in the 5’10” Brendan Gallagher, who lives off pure spite, aaand you’re gonna have a scrappy start.
The second wasn’t much better for the Canadiens. The Lightning got another goal, this time from Yanni Gourde. Then it was an up hill battle for the next 12 minutes. They kept having trouble getting cleanly into their zone but Carey Price really kept them in it.
But as fate would have it, the Habs got really, really lucky. The Canadiens scored this insane goal that came off of two Lightning player’s skates. Proof that no shot is a bad shot. When it’s this late and you’re this close, ya gotta throw everything at the net.
The third started with a kick in the dick for Montreal. Ben Chiarot tried to bat a puck out of the air but Ondrej Palat used that chance to slap it into the net instead. (Side note: the credit was later changed to Kucherov?? Why?) So off the hop another 2 goal deficit. The Lightning put up another at 11:25. There was a big scrap at the end that left Brendan Gallagher bleeding and hopefully he’s not concussed. Jesperi Kotkaniemi took some hits and dished some out, then Joel Edmundson was swinging. This whole series is going to be a blood bath. It already is and it’s been one game. The hit total ended at 58-57, Montreal had that extra one.
This one ended with a 1-5 final and I gotta say, I’m not too worried.
It was Game 1, the Habs and Lightning haven’t played one another at all this season, it was bound to be a mess. I think the Habs can pull themselves back from this. They really need to watch those zone entries, every time they got in big trouble it was in that neutral zone. I like the energy they had they just need to tighten some things up and not be so reckless with penalties. Their PK is great but better not to risk any advantages. I’m not going to be all doom and gloom because they lose Game 1, they were down 3-1 against the Maple Leafs. Watch that tape and get back together on Wednesday.
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Featured Image: Montreal Canadiens Twitter