BLOOMINGBURG, NY – Twenty-eight years ago at this time I was twenty-five years old and is the last time a Canadian based team won the Stanley Cup – when the Canadiens (notice the spelling difference) bested the L.A. Kings in 1993. As a Boston Bruins fan I’m very happy knowing this hated rival of ours has gone that long without hoisting the prized trophy. After winning Thursday night and ousting the heavily favored Las Vegas Golden Knights, Les Habitants are poised for another upset as they face the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning, in my opinion, were clearly the better team in eliminating the Islanders. It was pleasurable in seeing the Isles get a taste of their own medicine in the Tampa Bay series, in a way the soft Bruins could not match the push back and defensive size and might the Lightning defense consistently showed. It also helped that the officiating was even in the series and didn’t allow one team to get away with liberties the Islanders did in their round with Boston. Before you get excited over what I just said it’s not sour grapes. The Islanders wanted it more than the Bruins, were more physical and the Bruins lacked desperation in dropping the last two games of the series.
Now I am conflicted in the Finals match-up. Repeat winners in any team sport is bothersome to me – unless of course it’s my team – and has happened only once with the Jimmy Johnson led Dallas Cowboys. Tampa Bay is looking to go back-to-back but I possess, as is expected, a deep and utter hatred of the Montreal Canadiens. I simply cannot root for them even though I’m always on the side of an underdog. F*** them! Throw in the rioting that ensued after the clinching Game 6 on Thursday isn’t much different from the disorder that occurred after the Cup win in ’93. Stay classy you Canadien hosers.
Sometimes teams go on a magical run, like the way Montreal is currently playing. Does any team, even a defending champ, want to face off against them? The goaltending for the Finals is a dead heat as Carey Price and Andre Vasilevskiey are statistically equal. The Lightning power play is deadly while the Canadiens are better scoring shorthanded than some teams are with the man advantage. Each squad is getting scoring distribution up and down the forward lines and by the way there’s a Sean Penn Spicoli look about the Habs Tyler Toffoli. Here’s hoping the Lightning keep Toffoli from saying “hey bud, let’s party”.
Let the rioting ensue north of the border. Win or lose it’s inevitable. Burn baby burn! Lightning in 5.
Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber. But watch this, first.