While almost no one predicted this pairing, everyone is surely salivating at the idea of watching Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury go save for save. And why wouldn’t they be? Two of the elite of the elite backstops are facing off with a spot in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final on the line.
Fleury and his crew advanced to the semifinals after a hard-fought Game 7 win against the Wild in the opening round and what some may call a surprising second-round series win over the Avalanche. They did lose the first two games in Round 2, so that would have been a fair assessment before the puck dropped for Game 3; however, let’s also remember that while Colorado won the Presidents’ Trophy, it only did so thanks to a win in the last game of the regular season and because it held the tiebreaker (regulation wins) over Vegas.
On the other hand, you can say that the Canadiens are a surprise. Montreal started the season on fire but the flame was quickly extinguished and Claude Julien and his staff were pink-slipped by late February. Then things turned a bit and the team went into the postseason as the No. 4 seed in the North Division. Now the Habs are the Kings of the North after handing the Maple Leafs another first-round exit despite trailing 3-1 in the series and sweeping the Jets, who had just swept the Oilers.