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The cross-border rivals is anyone’s bet given the fact that Montreal defeated Toronto in addition to having Winnipeg defeat the Oilers in the first round which amounted to nothing more than “Jokers Wild” if you’re a betting man.

Watching both advance in the full seven games pulling out wins in the last three games had so-called hockey fanatics calling for firings of the Toronto brass, naturally by those who think they know the game better than management.

Truth be known; they didn’t and the win by the Canadians showed that they had a stronger work ethic as well as a desire to advance to the semi-final round against the winner of Vegas and Colorado.

The win saw Montreal book their flight to “Sin-City” which has odds-makers wondering who to place their bets on considering the talent of both “tenders” who carried their team to the third round series.

Montreal was trailing 3-1 in the series against the Leaf’s that saw them win the remaining three games with game seven in Toronto in front of a sparse crowd of just over 500 Health Care Workers.

Montreal was somewhat different due to Covid numbers in which the City and the Province allowed around 2,500 to attend the game, which were some family members as well as Health Care Workers.

Photo Credit Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Both series should be entertaining with many Canadians fans watching to see if they can solve the “Mystery of Fleury” that will have a sold-out crowd in attendance.

Looking at the series stats Fleury has played in 158 games with 89 wins, 67 losses with a GAA of 2.53 and a SV% of .912 and 15 SO while playing 9,560 minutes.

Carey Price on the other hand has played 81 games with 38 wins, 39 losses followed this up with a GAA of 2.36 and SV% of .920 with 8 SO playing 4,851 minutes.

The 2007-08 season was Price’s rookie season, which saw him manage a record of 24-12-3, with a .920 SV% also winning his first playoff series in a close seven-game series. 

They were however ousted by the Flyers in Round 2 in five games after pulling off the lone win in Game 1.

The other series featured last year’s Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay fired up by Stephen Samkos leading the charge who were taking on the New York Islanders which many counted out to not reach the third round.

Photo Credit (Marc DesRosiers – USA TODAY Sports)

Looking at the series, one interesting fact that features both teams is that there are five players who reside in BC play, three of whom are on the Habs team, while two from are on Vegas.

D-man Shea Weber calls Sicamous home, Goalkeeper Carey Price calls Anahim Lake home while Brendan Gallagher calls Delta home in the off-season, while Tampa Bay has two; Langley’s D-man Shea Theodore and Duncan’s Dylan Coghlan 

When we look at the overall depth, the Canadiens lead the league with 29 goals in six games, while the next-highest team is the Philadelphia Flyers who has 20. 

If you think it sounds strange, it’s not as the third-highest team are the Canucks with 19, that lost to the Canadiens by a 2-0-1 record over a three-game series.

Vegas are coming off a come-from-behind win in the quarter final series against the Avalanche being down 2-0, but managing to win four straight advance to the third round getting past Minnesota in 6 game’s. 

Vegas has managed to reach the third round semi-finals for the third time in the four years since they entered the NHL in 2017-18 as an expansion team having won seven playoff series in that time for the Knights.

Regardless of whom you place your bets on, this series has all the makings of a full seven game series as both continue their journey for Lord Stanley’s Trophy. 

On an outside chance that Montreal will win the Cup it will mark the first time that a Canadian team brings the Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993 when Montreal defeated the Los Angeles Kings.

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