The Habs are a Lock to Win the Stanley Cup

The Canadiens will be back in Montreal tonight for game three of the Stanley Cup finals, looking for their first win of the series. Conventional wisdom is writing them off. The Lightning are overwhelming favorites among bookmakers. On Sportsnet’s Hockey Central today, Nick Alberga and Justin Bourne rhetorically asked “Are the Habs Toast?” (And answered: yes.)

Just Wide’s galaxy brain take is that the Canadiens will absolutely win this series, making them the first Canadian team to top the league in 28 years. Here are the two reasons why.

First, we know from the first round that when the 2020-21 Montreal Canadiens go down in a playoff series to a heavily favored team, they rally to win, every time. That’s just math.

Second, this year the Montreal Canadiens took the step so few organizations are willing to take, but which has become a key to postseason success in recent years: they fired their head coach mid-season. Pity the Lightning, saddled with defending Stanley Cup winner, Presidents’ Trophy winner, two-time Eastern Conference champion, two-time Jack Adams Award finalist, Calder Cup winner, Clark Cup winner, and Robertson Cup winner Jon Cooper — himself a mid-season replacement from way back in 2012-13, and now the longest-tenured head coach in the league! They would have been crazy to fire him, obviously. But since they didn’t, now they don’t stand a chance.

Take it to the bank!

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