As one of the most recognisable franchises in National Hockey League (NHL) history, the Montreal Canadiens have a huge following. However, a long period of barren success has seen a major franchise become something of a footnote at NHL level. Indeed, the Canadiens have not made a Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1993. That, though, is about to change: 2021 will see them break a 28-year hoodoo to go all the way to the showpiece final. They defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in the Conference Finals to go all the way to the Finals, beating the Vegas outfit in six games.
The Canadiens have Artturi Lehkonen to thank, with his winning goal arriving 1:39 into Overtime to seal the win. Indeed, no Canadian team has lofted the Stanley Cup high since the Canadiens themselves did so in 1993. Given their incredible influence on the sport an on the NHL as a whole, that should come as a major shock to most fans. Going into the season, too, the Canadiens were seen as total outsiders to make the Final; this year, then, has been a fairytale ride for Canadiens fans.
They even ‘boasted’ the worst regular season record, with points average of just .527, of any team that made the postseason. Despite squeezing through by the tightest of margins, though, the Canadiens are set for a shot at historical glory and to put Canadian hockey back on the map.
Can the Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup?
In every round so far, they have been the underdog. Seen as an ailing franchise, they have been playing much of the season in transition. Indeed, they don’t even have a full-time coach, with Luke Richardson acting as the interim until the end of the season. Given the way things have gone, you would assume that he would have first dibs on the hotseat. Speaking about their ability to get to the Finals, which will begin on Monday, Richardson said: “Everything seems to be moving so fast right now. It’s really fun to see the guys enjoying themselves in the dressing room, they deserve it. It’s really heartwarming to see a group of guys that work that hard together,
“I know every team is the same and says the same thing, but these guys are a special group and a really good mix. It’s hard to put into words how proud we are of them, but they deserve it and they’re not done yet. Like, they still have fire in their eyes, they’re already talking about it.”
The team will take on whoever wins between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders, who are set to contest a titanic Game 7. In a season that has seen so many outsiders progress and so many favourites fall by the wayside, the 2021 Stanley Cup Final is going to likely be contested by teams that few, if any, experts assumed would be here in the pre-season readings.

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