Montreal Canadiens Legitimate Stanley Cup Contenders

In my opinion, this Montreal team has the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup since 1992-93. The primary reasons are they have one of the best goalies in the game today, Carey Price and a legitimate blend of players needed for post season success.

Carey Price has not had playoff success up until now. That will change this postseason. Canadians saw first hand how impressive Price can be in the Sochi Olympics. With Montreal sometimes gives up 4 goals in a game. However, from the games I have watched, he is not to blame for the goals. They usually are screened shots, odd man rushes or rebounds that the defense failed to clear away. Price has a weapon that most goalies do not - he keeps calm. Almost to the point of frustration for fans watching as he never seems to be rattled, even if he lets in a goal. I remember after the Olympic gold game his interview was supremely nonchalant. This is a good thing though as most goalies can be a bit of a nutcase, overthinking, letting their emotions get the best of them. When I think Price might have some socialpathic tendencies, he has let his emotion squeek through a few times after a series of goals where he was left stranded by the defense, banging his stick on the way to the dressing room. Bottom line is Price is the best Habs goaltender since Patrick Roy and a huge asset.

Now the blend of players is also the best it has been in recent years. First, the acquistion of Thomas Vanek was a great move by GM Marc Bergevin (who has been the best GM in many,many years making moves that help the club). I admit when I watched the trade deadline coverage and heard Vanek was traded I actually said "Please don't be Montreal, please don't be Montreal". Some of my concerns where that I did not want to trade players for a possible rental and that Vanek would add to an already small team. I did not realize that Vanek is not small in stature and in fact adds size to the team. I also did not realize how creative and good of a hockey player he is. It has been a joy to watch him Pacioretty and Desharnais.

Montreal has proven playoff performers: Captain Brian Gionta, Daniel Briere, Travis Moen (when he returns from injury soon). They have speed: Max Pacioretty, PK Subban, Rene Bourque (when he wants to). Tomas Plekanec is one of the most underrated two way players in the game. Montreals' defense is healthy and boasts offense: PK Subban, Andrei Markov, defensive ability/toughness: Josh Gorges, Alexei Emelin, Francis Bouillon and a fantastic penalty killer Mike Weaver.

My favorite current player on Montreal is Brendan Gallagher and is a tough, feisty, though diminutive player. Brandon Prust is a gamer. They also have the talented Alex Galchenyuk who will return from injury in the second round. All this boasts well for Montreal.

The playoffs are a lot about momentum and heating up at the right time. With the 3-0 series lead of Tampa Bay (Stamkos has been fun to watch, btw) Montreal is doing all the right things at the moment. I am not used to Montreal being up this much. In fact, I had to look it up, they have not been up 3-0 in a series since they won the cup in 1992-93. All this bodes very well.

I predict that the keys to hoisting the cup again will be Price stealing a series against Tuuku Rask, and Montreal playing a great four line team game.