Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is currently outscoring Montreal in the series by a 16:7 ratio. No matter how much the Habs harass the Lightning’s defense, they just can’t seem to get much by the always entertaining Andrei Vasilevskiy (2020-21 Playoffs: 22GP, 1.99GA, .935SV%). They’re big, fast, and grant no quarter defensively. Now that Stamkos has been present this entire postseason, the Lightning seem to have all the tools necessary to repeat.
Montreal needed that Game 4 pick-me-up. As a player, nothing’s more frustrating than not being able to beat a goalie for that many games. Also, all things considered, Carey Price has been a warrior. He’s started every game of this playoff run and has been marvelous his whole career. Just how far the team has gotten this season is a testament to a master of their craft. In all honesty, this may not be Montreal’s year. However, they have a ton of fresh and impressive skaters up front. Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and now Cole Caufield have been surprisingly effective in such a short time. In fielding some prospective goaltending talent to take the load off Price, they could continue to be in contention for the next few years.
A couple things come to mind: First, knowing how good Tampa Bay is, they may just be looking to close this out at their own barn – and that’s why the series is now 3-1. Or, the Canadiens are on the verge of one of the greatest rallies in sports playoff history.