On the verge of elimination, the Canadians focused on the first step of the arduous Stanley Cup climb

On the verge of elimination, the Canadians focused on the first step of the arduous Stanley Cup climb



The Montreal Canadiens have overcome wave after wave of adversity in 2021.

From losing streaks to COVID-19 suspension, to injuries and high odds in the impossible playoffs, these losers responded every time they pressed their backs firmly on the wall.

A team looking for the 25th Stanley Cup, and the first team in Canada since Montreal last raised the hockey hockey hockey on the night of June 1993, will have to play in this difficult year. Dig deeper than ever to keep the dream that shines now. .

The Canadians faced the daunting task of climbing a mountain that only other NHL teams had ever conquered-falling behind 3-0 in the final. It must happen in a game against the defending champion Tampa Bay Chargers.

“We have nothing to lose,” winger Josh Anderson said in Montreal preparing for Monday’s fourth game at Bell Center, which can be seen on CBC and CBCSports.ca at 8pm EST. “Everyone is ready, I can tell you.

“We are not done yet.”

Although the challenge is to save mistakes with fatal precision against a well-oiled opponent with no weak links, being eliminated is nothing new for a team that has struggled time and time again.

“This is a tough season”

After firing the coach in February and enduring the coronavirus outbreak in March, the devastated and scarred Canadians limped with the NHL’s 18th best record at the end of a schedule shortened by the pandemic Entered the playoffs.

Montreal looked completed and dusty in the first four games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but fell behind 3-1 in the series, winning three consecutive games before a stunning sweep against the Winnipeg Jets. Very popular opponent, won in seven games.

The honed Canadians continue to fight the Vegas Golden Cavaliers – the league’s biggest third-round favorite in more than 30 years – and even after temporary substitute boss Dominic Ducham tested positive for COVID-19 Still winning, which forced him to observe his team in isolation for two weeks.

The Canadians once again took the lead in the final, but they are also confident in their formula.

But the problem is: Tampa has its own blueprint for success. In addition to the second Montreal may deserve a better fate, it has been executed to T.

Watch | Late trading volume ends Habs late rebound:

Ondrej Palat used Joel Edmundson’s late error to prevent any potential comeback for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2. 1:03

Now the Canadians need another counterattack, otherwise they will say goodbye to physical distance in a short time.

“This has been a difficult season,” Montreal defender Jeff Petrie said. “It presents the challenge in a different way throughout the challenge.

“This is another one. I don’t want it to be any different from the year we spent.”

Ducham said that his players hope to join the 1942 Leaf team and become the only team to win the cup from a 3-0 hole, and they will fight to the last breath.

Ducharme said: “In those moments, adversities and the process of facing these situations, this group becomes stronger.” “We show it every day. Sometimes we lose a game, or it’s not exactly what you think. As you want.

“But one thing is certain-this is not a lack of experimentation, nor a lack of will.”

“Our focus is to make sure we play in the right way”

At the same time, the Chargers are on the cusp of winning the second consecutive championship and championship after winning the playoff bubble last year.

Tampa may become the second team to win consecutive championships in 22 years-joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017-this is the first team to sweep the finals since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings, and the second The visiting team that won the championship followed in the footsteps of the Calgary Flames in 1989 in the Canadian Ice Cup.

“It became a traditional thing,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the repetition. “For these people, for the organization, this is street credibility.”

Petrie said that the moment of denying Tampa at the Bell Center did not provide any additional motivation.

“We don’t want to see the Chargers win the Stanley Cup at all,” he said. “You won’t win four games by winning (Monday).

“Our focus is to ensure that we play a strong and difficult game in the right way.”

‘There is still work to be done’

After falling 2-0 in the series, the Canadians fell 2-0 early Friday due to a series of mistakes and faced three goals four minutes before the start of the second quarter. Through nine stages of the game, Montreal leads with a total score of 14-5, not leading by a second in the game against Tampa.

“The adjustment is not big,” Ducharm said. “We know what we need to do, we know this is about execution. This is about performing under pressure. This is about doing these operations at the right time.”

Watch | Caulfield can make history with cup victories:

The Stanley Cup final was full of interesting storylines, including the Habs rookie filled his trophy box. 5:00

The Canadians were eliminated three times in the first round against Toronto and survived.

Now about 5 1/2 weeks later-in this crazy playoff spring into the unlikely last summer cup-they once again have zero room for error.

“Everyone in that locker room trusts each other,” Anderson said. “These guys have gone through a lot this year. Together, we have come to this point.

“We have one more work to do.”

Then they will have to do it three more times.


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