The Montreal Canadiens are four wins away from being the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup since they did it in 1993. With a 3-2 defeat of the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals, Les Habitants win the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl and the right to face the winner of the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning starting next week.
The Canadiens finished with less points during the regular season than two teams which didn’t qualify for the playoffs, and were four points behind all other playoff teams. But the No. 4 seed in the North Division got hot at the right time, and a Conn Smythe campaign to remember for goalie Carey Price has led them back to the Final.
They will be the fifth Canadian team to play for Lord Stanley since 1993, the others being the Vancouver Canucks in 1994 and 2011, and the Edmonton Oilers in 2006 and Ottawa Senators in 2007. That ‘93 team was led by Smythe winner Patrick Roy, who was 16-4 in the playoffs with a .929 save percentage. This year Price is 12-5 with a .933 mark entering tonight’s action.
With two outstanding young centers in Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki, the Canadiens play with plenty of grit and grind. They aren’t the prettiest team in the NHL, but what they lack in skill they make up for in effort and physical play.
This is the 35th trip to the Final for the Habs, who have won the Cup 24 times in franchise history. They were 50-1 at the beginning of the season to win the NHL Championship at DraftKings Sportsbook.