It is hard to believe less than a week ago the 2021 NHL season ended but the season indeed did. The Montreal Canadiens lost 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the end, Montreal had the same familiar problem that most teams did versus Tampa Bay. They could not solve Andrei Vasilevskiy. Eight goals in five games is a tough pill to swallow. At the same token, one can admit when another goaltender and team is just that good.
So, yes, a nod to the repeat champion Tampa Bay Lightning is appropriate. However, a bigger toast to the Montreal Canadiens is even more so.
No one could have seen this when Montreal was down three games to one to the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the things Dominque Ducharme and company said yesterday was as such. Yes, they believed but for it to go as it did was amazing.
There was the improbable run with all the goals and Carey Price saves. We saw Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield come of age before our eyes. There was the Tyler Toffoli point run before he got injured. Montreal’s incredible penalty-killing streak became the stuff of legend.
Montreal Canadiens: Let’s not look ahead just yet…
It is rare to say this but this is true. Let us not look ahead just yet. The Montreal Canadiens’ front-office has to as there will be the question of who to keep for the upcoming expansion draft. Protect lists have to be turned in by next weekend. The expansion draft is on the 21st. Then the NHL Draft is the 23rd and 24th with free agency starting on the 28th.
Did anyone get some oxygen yet? Okay…breathe!
Seriously, take a fresh breath or several. The Montreal Canadiens went on an eight-week run that had not been seen since yes, 1993. I know. I know.
The idea over the weekend or early next week is to have a podcast of sorts to remember the good times and toast them properly.
We will look ahead to later this month soon enough. However, it is the offseason and that is the reality. Even though, this is a bit of a short one. At least, 2021 ended only about a month later in the schedule. The 2021-22 season only starts about ten days late or so, give or take a few days.
This spring and summer have been quite the whirlwind filled with every emotion on the spectrum. Naturally, there will be plenty of questions on whether Montreal can do it again or even come close.
Who cares about that right now?
Right now, some still feel the sting of coming so close — particularly the team and players. Some fans and media do too. It is understandable. Better times are definitely ahead and this deep run offered perhaps a glimpse into that possible future.
Latest Canadiens News
- NHL Notebook: Mika Zibanejad and Aleksander Barkov Sign New Deals
- Montreal Canadiens Re-Sign Nick Suzuki To Eight-Year Deal
- Montreal Canadiens Carey Price Entering NHL/NHL Player Assistance Program
- NHL Notebook: Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes Re-Sign With Vancouver
- NHL Revamped Rosters for 2021-22: Atlantic Division Pt. 2
A few more final thoughts…
The Montreal Canadiens gave us an unexpected gift that will linger in our memories for some time. Challenges will come later but in the present, there is this simple end.
Wow, that was one strange trip but what a trip it was.
Au revoir 2021 Montreal Canadiens season. Au revoir. Merci beaucoup!