May 14, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; The Montreal Canadiens surround left wingMax Pacioretty
(67) after defeating the Boston Bruins 3-1 in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
3. An Unexpected Run
The Montreal Canadiens had an up and down 2013-14 season, and entered the playoffs with a tough match up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning would be without their goaltender Ben Bishop, and the Canadiens took advantage.
They won the first two games in Tampa Bay and finished them off at home for their first sweep since 1992-93. There were some controversial calls in the series, but you can’t tell me it would have changed the result of the series. Could it have added a game? Sure. But the Canadiens were always going to win that series playing the way they did.
That set up a great series against the Boston Bruins. There were tons of memorable moments. The P.K. Subban breakaway out of the penalty box, the double overtime series opener, the very close Game 7. And that’s only off the top of my head. I’m sure I am missing so many more.
Carey Price played out of his mind to win the series for the Canadiens who were outshot by quite a large margin by the Bruins in most games, Subban played the best hockey of his career in the series as well. For the second time in four years, the Canadiens were going to the Eastern Conference final.
The series against the Rangers didn’t go as well. Carey Price was hurt in the opener, and although Dustin Tokarski didn’t lose the series for Montreal and actually played quite well, Game 1 was enough of a swing for the series.
The city rallied around this team filling the Bell Centre even for road games throughout the second and third rounds and it was as if the city believed again. 2010 was a fluke and kind of unbelievable. 2014 was a legitimate team beating legitimate competition and playing well.
It set the table for this season and for years to come as the Canadiens try to get to that next level for the first time in over 20 years.
Next: No. 2: Genie Out Of The Bottle