Almost no one anticipated this pairing, they are surely saving the idea of seeing Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury save money. And why shouldn’t they? Two of the elite back-to-back elites face off in the 2021 Stanley Cup final.
Fleury and his crew advanced to the semifinals after winning 7 games against Wild in the opening round and some may call Avalanche an amazing second-round series. They lost the first two games on Day 2, so it would be a fair assessment before they dropped the puck in Game 3; However, remember, too, that while Colorado won the President’s Trophy, it was only thanks to a win in the last game of the regular season and a draw (regulatory victory) that he only made it against Vegas.
On the other hand, you can say that Canadians are a surprise. Montreal started the season on fire, but the flame quickly went out and Claude Julien and his staff were pink in late February. Then things changed a bit and the team went into the post-season in 4th place in the Northern Division. Now, the customs are the kings of the North after giving the Maple Leafs another first-round outing, going 3-1 behind the series and scouring the Jets, as the Oilers had just cleared them.
Both teams want to get the best sports trophy. It’s been 28 years since Canadians – or any Canadian team – drank from the Cup for the last time, and Vegas still smells of its newborn in its fourth year. The Golden Knights won almost everything in 2018 and reached the conference finals in 2020. But before these teams think about fulfilling their Stanley Cup dreams in 2021, they have to face each other where only one will move forward.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens: Schedule, odds, breakdown, forecast
Stanley Cup semi-final schedule
|Data||The match||Time (TV channel) / Results|
|Monday, June 14||Vegas||21:00 (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Wednesday, June 16||Vegas||21:00 (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Friday, June 18||Montreal||20:00 (USA, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Sunday, June 20||Montreal||8pm (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|* Tuesday, June 22||Vegas||21:00 (NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports)|
|* Thursday, June 24||Montreal||20:00 (USA, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|* Saturday, June 26th||Vegas||8pm (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
(* If necessary)
The teams did not play against each other in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Here are the other six (for Montreal) or seven (for Vegas) teams in the sections (NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick):
|3.39||GF / GP||2.82|
|2.18||GA / GP||2.95|
|53.37||% CF 5v5-tan||54.50|
|54.76||% HDGF 5v5-tan||51.61|
It’s hard to see how the offense will behave compared to the regular season. Both teams dropped their game goals (to Las Vegas 3.08 and Montreal to 2.55) but both lasted. And they both get production in the starting lineup.
William Karlsson’s point of the Golden Horse playoffs is 11, but four players have eight points (Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Pietrangelo, Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone), three have seven points (Mattias Janmark, Alex Tuch and Reilly Smith) and three have six (Nicolas Roy , Shea Theodore and Nick Holden). In fact, 21 players have at least one point, and Marc-Andre Fleury is also a netmaker.
According to the Natural Stat TrickFor Vegas, the Corsi has 54.32 percent and is leading the postseason in shot attempts (691), expected goals (27.97), scoring chances (296) and high-risk chances (122). This is a team that clicks on all the cylinders and is able to score at the most important moments.
There is an offensive structure similar to ice. Canadians are also getting production up and down the list. Tyler Toffoli is the leader with 10 points, followed by 18 players with at least one point. In addition, seven different players have won the home games, and Toffoli, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki have been scoring goals in extra sessions.
As children, Kotkaniemi, Suzuki and Cole Caufield, the 2021 Hobey Baker winners, have given the line-up a proper shake-up. The first two have four goals individually, and Caufield has four assists, including Suzuki’s 5th goal against the Leafs Leafs and Toffoli’s goal of increasing time against the Jets, also in the OT. Montreal will need the legs of the youngsters in this series to keep pace and move the big, strong defenses of the Golden Knights.
Edge: Golden Knights
Great and strong defenses, you say? Don’t look at Alex Pietrangelo, who hasn’t been surprised by the increase in his game. He’s putting on follow-up numbers like when the Blues first took him to the Stanley Cup in 2019. In 5v5, he has the individual Corsi For in 68 and the expected goals in 1.19, and leads the team for Expected Gools (10.8) (For each Natural Stat Trick).
But he is not the only defense that has been vigilant. Zach Whitecloud had an impressive 2020 season campaign and raised his game even further in 2021. The 24-year-old NHL champion has become the key to Vegas ’defense throughout his first season. He leads the Corsi For team in percentage (59.11) and scoring chances in percentage (60.54) in the postseason.
Looking beyond those two, the Golden Knights have Shea Theodore, Nick Holden and Alec Martinez. The latter is the only player to have matched CF with less than 50% (46.41).
Translation: Not much time is spent at the end of Vegas.
A big part of that is that the Golden Knights took on Mark Stone (a 2021 Selke finalist) in the game as one of the best defensive strikers in the game and when the puck is over, they block the left-right shots. Vegas leads the league with 249 blocks blocked and plays an average of 19 blocks, most of them among the rest of the playoff teams.
Montreal’s defense is based on a game between the tubes, but the blue suits have also been able to close out some of the game’s biggest names. Auston Matthews Rocket Richard Trophy winner had only one goal and Mitch Marner remained in first place off the board. Jet strikers Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor added two points in the second round.
The team should receive a boost with Jeff Petry in the starting lineup again. The main blue dot producer in Montreal lost the 3rd and 4th games against the Jets in the regular season after getting his hand into a hole in the camera on the boards dislocating two fingers. Jon Merrill, who has not played since May 27 due to injury, is also traveling to Vegas with the team.
Edge: Golden Knights
This series is about network makers: Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price. Two boys on the career floor who are able to control the games from start to finish. It will be a TV to watch.
Fleury Vs. Price 2021 elimination comparison
|24.8||SA / 60||30.2|
|.936||Quite strength% Sv||.938|
|.893||High risk Sv%||.877|
|25.39||Average goal distance||26.27|
Edge: Even if
Despite heavy blows at both ends of the track, Vegas’s tough power and penalty kills have been 14.3 and 71.4 percent in the post season, respectively. The special Montreal team hasn’t been meh at all. After putting the goose egg against the maple leaves in the first 15 picks, the Canadians are 6 and 17 with the male advantage since then. 82.4 percent were effective in the short right.
The main players to watch
Max Pacioretty (VGK): Who doesn’t love a fascinating story? The former Canadian captain will surely only love sending his old team to golf. It was sent to the west three years ago and has flourished in Sin City. He missed the first six games of the playoffs (after losing the last six games of the regular season), but the squad came back in a tremendous way. In seven games, he has four goals and four assists per game with the best 1.14 points per game. He hasn’t played much against the Canadians in his career, but he has two points (goal, support) in three games against the franchise that won the first round in 2007.
Cole Caufield (MTL): Speaking of the first laps, Caufield has put tons of energy into the Canadiens. As I said, he has set multiple big goals – and it was a healthy gap in the first two games of the postseason. Caufield is a pure scorer, and although he has yet to score a goal in the post-season (four assists, the first three of which aren’t slack), he’s close. It’s awesome 34 shooting attempts (29 of them have passed the defense) and 22 shots on goal.
History of the Golden Knights vs. Canadiens playoffs
These two teams have never met in the post-season.
The last five rounds
Vegas Golden Knights
|2020||Lost five days in the conference finals against DAL|
|2019||He lost in the first round against SJS in seven games|
|2018||WSH lost in the Stanley Cup final in five games|
|2020||He lost in the first round against PHI in six games|
|2017||He lost to NYR in the first round in six games|
|2015||He lost to TBL in the second round in six games|
|In 2014||He lost in the conference finals against NYR in six games|
|In 2013||Lost five appointments in the quarterfinals against OTT|
Prediction of the Golden Knights vs Canadiens
Everything will come, which can surpass the other netminder.
Forecast: Golden Knights 6th