I absolutely love these Montreal Canadiens right now. That’s really saying something. I’m a lifelong Calgary Flames fan (unfortunately), so I still haven’t forgiven Montreal for beating us in the 1986 Stanley Cup finals. For me to love these guys, then, they really have to be doing something special. And they are. If you are a hockey fan then you know what I am talking about, but if you aren’t then this is a team you need to be cheering for.
When the playoffs started and Montreal, who limped into the playoffs barely grabbing the final playoff spot and didn’t know who their starting goalie was going to be for sure, was facing the Capitals you would have been hard pressed to find many hockey followers who thought that the series was going to go beyond five games. Washington didn’t just win the President’s Trophy for the most regular season points – they ran away with it. They were clearly the best team in the league, and they have the best player in the world. Montreal didn’t care. They fell behind 3-1, but then won their last three games in impossible fashion. The worst team in the playoffs (by far) beat the best team in the league. That never should have happened, and they could have quit there, but they had only just begun.
Last Night, Montreal beat Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champs, to force a game seven in their second round series. Even casual hockey fans will know that Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby on their team – at worst the second best player in the world after Alexander Ovechkin. Again, Montreal doesn’t care. They are going into a game seven that they are fully capable of winning given the way these bizarre playoffs have turned out so far. If they win it is very likely that Montreal will be burned to the ground during the celebrations. These guys take their hockey very seriously.
The best part of this story is from a betting perspective, though. Despite their success, Montreal has never been favored in these playoffs. In fact, they haven’t even come close. Their lowest price has been +130. They have paid off some astronomical prices – +320, +270, +260, and +250. If you had bet Montreal to win in each of their games during these playoffs you could be retiring to a beachfront cabana somewhere very warm any time now. So bizarre. I love it.