Three ways the Montreal Canadiens can upset the Pittsburgh Penguins

Carey Price Makes a save

 

 

When the NHL decided to roll with a twenty-four team playoff, the fans in Montreal were elated. Being gifted the chance of at least three more games in the 2020 season, the Habs will face off against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a best of five play-in series. On paper, you would think that the Penguins would put the Habs over their knee and spank their ass in three to four games. Still, the game of hockey isn’t played on paper. These are the three things that must happen for the Montreal Canadiens to shock the world and send the Penguins home.

Jonathan Drouin needs to show up

Since being swapped for Mikhail Sergachev in June of 2017, any hockey fan would tell you that the  Tampa Bay Lightning came out on top in that trade. Drouin has failed to hit the 20 goal mark all three seasons in Montreal and the Habs simply need more from the former third-overall pick. Especially if teammate Max Domi is not cleared to play during the pandemic due to complications with diabetes. If the Habs are going to be able to hang with the Penguins offensively, they need to see Drouin grow up and take the next step.

Shea Weber and Jeff Petry need take the D core by the horns 

Captain Shea Weber has been one of the league’s top defensemen for the last decade. A leader everywhere he’s been, Weber has had a tough road back from several injuries since arriving in Montreal. This season he finally started to look like the Weber we were used to seeing. Four months of extra time to heal only benefits Shea Weber, and the Habs captain will need to be on top of his game. Weber needs to be the same man who helped lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2014 Olympic games if they want to stop Sid and the boys.

Weber isn’t alone back there, and all the responsibility shouldn’t lay on his shoulders. Fellow Dman Jeff Petry struggled this year. Most Montreal fans understand the importance of needing him to hold down the fort and take some pressure off of Weber and Price. If both men show up and lead by example the Canadiens can make this happen.

Carey Price needs to be a brick wall

Every year the NHLPA releases a ton of “player consensus” polls, and every year the NHL’s best goalie as voted by his peers is Carey Price. To someone who only relies on the GAA and Save % to determine who is the best goalie in the world, Price would maybe be outside the top 5. Being on a rank team like the Montreal Canadiens he can only do so much.

The D should be clearing the puck after the first save and keeping guys away from the front of the net. Watching this team for five seconds its obvious that Price gets hung out to dry. Carey Price allows any organization, no matter the caliber, a chance to win on any given night. If he rolls into this five-game series hot and maybe has a horseshoe up his ass, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see Claude Julien’s team shock the hockey world.

If any combinations of these scenarios occur, I believe the Canadiens, under a great coach in Claude Julien, can send Sidney and the Pens home.

Bring on August first baby!

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