Ramblings: Montreal’s Cup Run; Norris in 2021; Theodore in Roto; Mantha’s Upside – July 9

Michael Clifford

2021-07-09

As the resident Habs fan, I feel like I should weigh in on the Habs's Cup run.

First, we need to give props to Carey Price. All the prods aside, this guy had a .931 save percentage through the first three rounds, second behind only Andrei Vasilevskiy. Without Price playing out of his mind for a month, this team is bounced in the first round. Let us not forget that.

It also brings me to their entire run. They needed a superhuman Carey Price and an injured John Tavares to get past Toronto. Winnipeg was decimated by injuries and suspensions. Vegas? Price posted a .933 save percentage. When we talk about how Montreal got to the Stanley Cup Finals, it starts and ends with the play of Carey Price.

That is what makes the Final a bit tougher to choke down. The Kotkaniemi line was getting hemmed in their zone just about any shift Josh Anderson wasn't able to rush the puck out, and Tomas Tatar remains stapled to the press box. If fans want to talk about chemistry or not breaking up what's working or whatever, fine. But going down 3-0 in the Cup Final and leaving Tatar in the press box? That is inexcusable, and combined with not playing Caufield earlier in the playoffs, just goes to show how far out of his depth Ducharme was here.

And that is the worst part. Ducharme has probably earned himself two years of goodwill with management. What will the lineup be next year? Tyler Toffoli on defence? Nick Suzuki backing up Carey Price? Can't wait to see what alignment Ducharme goes with.

There are a lot of exciting players on this Montreal team, particularly that entire Toffoli-Suzuki-Caufield line, but they need more offensive help. Also, defencemen who can move the puck might work.

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Don’t forget about this!