The Canadiens meanwhile have really turned things up since the trade deadline and are starting to look more and more like the Cup contender we have grown to see over the years but they have a tough first round matchup here against the first wild card team from NY. The fans were ready, showing up early for Wednesday's 7 p.m. start for Game 1 against the New York Rangers to take part in the pre-game Fan Jam party outside the Bell Centre, complete with a large ferris wheel.
On a night that began with a surprise in goal from the Pittsburgh Penguins, helping to spark the defending Stanley Cup champs on Day One of the National Hockey League playoffs, five games opened postseason play Wednesday night.
Heading into Sunday, Montreal (final total) and NY have 103 and 100 points in the standings respectively. But his performance in Game 1, while surprisingly the difference maker for the Rangers, should not be guarantee him a position in this lineup - his limited offensive capabilities have already been well established throughout his entire career.
Montreal will definitely have the goaltending advantage heading into the series. The Rangers have 10 previous participants. And they certainly can not expect Lundqvist to shut out the Canadiens each game, especially with the defense assembled in front of him.
Clearly, these are not the same Rangers who lost in five games to the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring.
"My game doesn't change".
And look it up, teams that make deep post-season runs get big plays from the likes of Glass, Lindberg and Fast along the way. I still think the wingers can do a bit of a better job on the boards. The over/under total for the game is listed at 5 goals.
"The message is the same with me as it is all the time - be hard to play against", Glass said.
The Maple Leafs are a team building for the future - one, two and three years down the road.
"We had some looks but in the end it was more about finish", said head coach Claude Julien. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place. Can anybody explain how a team that finished the regular season 20 games over.500 had an eight-game losing streak at home at one point? But the team knows that it's a clean slate on both sides for Game 1.
The long, winding regular season is finally over.
And just another reason the Stanley Cup playoffs are so great.
Montreal, who will face the New York Rangers in a battle of Original Six franchises in their series, may have the best chance of the Canadian clubs to advance from the East. Kreider led the way with 28, followed by Michael Grabner's 27 and Rick Nash with 23. Nothing does. how poorly the Blueshirts played in the final month; the fact they were 0-3 against Montreal this season or that they have a tough first-round match-up against the Canadiens. "It's two of the best in the world going at it. We were able to get a little room after that and I think the second period we came out playing real well and in the third, I thought we defended really good". Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust also scored, and Evgeni Malkin assisted on Rust and Kessel's goals in his first game back after missing the final three weeks of the regular season because of an upper-body injury. He played well in game one and fore checked hard with Steve Ott and Andreas Martinsen.