Two weeks ago I wrote about how the Montreal Canadiens’ Stanley Cup playoff run through two rounds was feeling a lot like 1993, their last cup win. But heading into the third round, their chances didn’t look great.
In the next round they’ll face Las Vegas, a team which doesn’t bear much resemblance to their 1993 opponent — a New York Islanders team fresh off a shocking upset of the defending two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. But what is familiar is that no one gives Montreal a chance of winning this series. Just like they had no chance against Toronto, and not much of one against Winnipeg.
But then, on Thursday night, the Habs scored in overtime of game six to punch their ticket to the finals. They’ll face the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team who only joined in the league in the 1992-93 season, but which has won twice since then — including last year. The Lightning are loaded with superstars, and heavily favoured.
Just how Montreal likes it.