Tampa Bay Lightning – 2020 GVFHL Stanley Cup Champion
Matt Murray stood tall and stopped 24 shots to get the shutout and led the Habs to a 4-0 win game 7 win on enemy ice. Murray hasn’t been the most consistent goalie for the Habs during this run but when the chips are down he has come up big for them. Another player who came to play was star trade deadline acquisition Filip Forsberg who scored his 9th goal of the playoffs and assisted on Craig Smith’s goal which eventually turned out to be the game winning goal.
Next up on the schedule for the Habs is a series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts have a really nice mix of physical, skilled, two-way, and vet players which makes them an insanely hard club to match up with. There is hope in Montreal that they can pull this off as they beat 2 of the best teams in the league in Carolina and Toronto, both of these teams outperformed Tampa during the season but of course this is the playoffs and the regular season means shit, but nonetheless both Carolina and Toronto were among the top contenders for the title in the league. The big concern for the Habs is if they can keep getting players like Foligno and Boyle to keep playing at a higher than normal level to help out Forsberg and Tkachuk. With Tampa having a very sound and physical d-core there are not going to be a ton of high quality chances. The X-factor might be if Montreal’s blueline can continue to be an offensive force as they have the 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest scoring d-men in the playoffs.
Congrats to Adam for a well built team and a great season! And good luck to Chris, please be gentle with my team!
Once again it seems the Habs are trying to defy the odds and punch their ticket to their 3rd eastern conference final appearance in 4 seasons. Playing against a powerhouse Leafs squad it was thought that the Habs would be beat easily as their 7 games series win against the Hurricanes had to have been a fluke. A poll where GVFHL GM’s were surveyed to see who they thought would win showed that the large majority think the Leafs will win. 8 votes said the Leafs would win and 4 said the Habs will win. Only 3 of these votes thought the series would go to 7 games, one of these votes doesn’t count though as that was more so a dream of GM MacPherson to go through another 7 game series. Down 2-0 in the series it looked like the Leafs would get a nice sweep as they had shut down the Habs top guns. Maybe the Habs could force a game 5 but it seemed like a pipe dream. What neither team counted on though was Nick Foligno channelling in his inner Ovechkin.
Foligno has put the Habs on his back in their 3 wins, putting up a total of 7 goals(including 2 hat-tricks), 8 hits, and a +5. What is even more insane if Foligno’s shooting percentage. Not including these past 3 games Foligno has 1 goal on 24 shots for a shooting percentage of 4.17%. For Foligno to reach 7 goals in 3 games with this percentage he’d need to shoot 168 shots. He instead has done it on 13 shots having a 53.8%. What is even crazier is that if you add up the 1 goal he has had in his other 10 playoff games this year and his goal total from the regular season he only has 4 more goals than he has in these 3 home games in round 2. To make his Hat-Trick in game 6 even more impressive is that he scored a 5v5 goal, pp goal, and a sh goal.
Game 7 will be on Friday and the Habs are hoping Foligno has just a little bit more magic left in him as the Habs only have 4 goals this series playing in Toronto. It has taken the Habs 2 game winners in the last minute of regulation and some great play form Foligno to get here. The Habs hope they can continue to surprise the league and win another hard fought 7 game series. Even if they lose Friday there is nothing to be mad at as the Habs thought they wouldn’t even make the playoffs back in October. Good luck on Friday Adam!