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Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Predictions: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens

Thanks to all who participated in the Fan Chatter posts – Rich will be tallying the final totals and announce the winner. With that we are going to open up the SabreNoise Stanley Cup Bracket Challenge. For each round of the Stanley Cup playoffs I will publish a series preview with my predictions, and you are encouraged to leave your comments on each article picking the winners of each bracket. You get a bracket filled out correctly through the course of the posts, and I will send you a FanSided hoodie.

Stanley Cup Round 1 Opponents Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning

Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the rules, it is very simple, you select and comment on each series preview with who you think will win the series. You can add as much opinion as you want, but all I want to know is what team you think will win and in how many games. You don’t necessarily need to get the game count correct to move on to the second round – but that will be used in the tie breaker.

I should preface this and say that there is, like every other year, sometimes no scientific fact behind my selection of these teams, as sometimes, I just don’t want to see a team win a series.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens

There is no emotional attachment for these two teams  – so analytics and guy are all I go on for these two teams.  There isn’t a lot of history here, as pointed out in the NHL series preview.  The teams have only met once before, and that was the season the Tampa Bay Lightning won their Stanley Cup.  Montreal is trying to change the fortunes of a nation.  As the sole representative of Canada in the playoffs – they are looking to buck the trend of teams in the United States winning the Stanley Cup.  No team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens won in 1993.

Season Series

Similar to our first prediction thread, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens have faced off four times this year, with the Lightning coming away as victors in all the contests.  Three of the four games this regular season though ended with a 1-1 tie at the end of the regulation.  Minus an empty net goal in the dying seconds of the final game in the season series – every game played between these two clubs was 2-1 at its conclusion.

The season series could bode for a very close and entertaining series between the Lightning and Canadiens.

Canadian Curse

If your looking for the Stanley Cup to make an appearance in Canada, the only team playing for the Stanley Cup is the team responsible for the two “myths” that have become hockey lore of why only teams in the United States have won the Stanley Cup since 1993.  Maurice Richard, being honored by the Montreal Canadiens stepped onto the ice at Montreal Forum with the Cup – stumbled and dropped the Stanley Cup to the ice.

And depending on which vantage point you want to take, a specific incident in the 1993 Cup Final could be the cause of the curse.  The fact that the Los Angeles Kings have won the Cup since 1993 leads me to believe that this is the Canadiens curse as well.

 

Playoff Schedule

Wednesday, April 16 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CBC, RDS, CNBC
Friday, April 18 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CBC, RDS, CNBC
Sunday, April 20 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Tuesday, April 22 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal CBC, RDS, NHLN U.S.
*Thursday, April 24 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CBC, RDS, CNBC
*Sunday, April 27 TBD Tampa Bay at Montreal CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Tuesday, April 29 TBD Montreal at Tampa Bay CBC, RDS

 

Prediction

The curse will stand.  I don’t think the Montreal Canadiens have done enough to get better, and the addition of Thomas Vanek isn’t enough to get them through a round of the playoffs.  Tampa Bay Lightning advance to the second round of the playoffs in six games.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Canadian Curse Canadiens Lightning Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Predictions

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