Montreal Canadiens set to roll dice against Vegas Golden Knights and Max Pacioretty

Click to play video: 'Call of the Wilde!'
Call of the Wilde!
Global’s hockey analyst Brian Wilde joins Global’s Laura Casella with a look ahead at game one of the NHL semifinals – Jun 11, 2021

After beating the odds, the Montreal Canadiens are set to square off against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The Habs stormed back in the first round against the Maple Leafs to beat the first place in the North Division, leaving Toronto’s fanbase stunned.

READ MORE: Toronto’s CN Tower lights up in Montreal Canadiens colours and Twitter goes wild

Montreal then quickly swept the next series, sending the Winnipeg Jets back home after four consecutive wins.

The run is not what many people expected. It’s also the first time the two clubs will face each other in the playoffs.

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While the matchup may be unusual and, frankly, improbable, the newest team in the NHL also has a few connections to la belle province.

Quebec native Marc-André Fleury is in front of the nets. He also stopped 30 shots in the Thursday night game against the Colorado Avalanche that sealed Vegas’ ticket to the semi-finals.

The roster also includes forward Jonathan Marchessault from Cap Rouge and Amos-born Nicolas Roy, who joined the team in 2019. There is also William Carrier, who hails from Montreal’s LaSalle borough.

Others are simply excited to watch Max Pacioretty, even if he’s no longer decked out in bleu, blanc, rouge.

“Good to see you again,” one fan tweeted.

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Vegas finished with the best regular-season record among the final four, while Montreal was fourth. The Habs were 23 points behind the Golden Knights, who tied Colorado for the highest point total in the league.

It might be a long shot for the Canadiens — but, if anything, Montreal has just kept the surprises coming during the playoffs.

“Always bet on red,” the team cheekily tweeted.

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But what do fans think? Do the Canadiens stand a chance this time?

Is a 25th Stanley Cup in the works?

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Montreal is heading to Sin City for the first game Monday.

The two teams will then play again Vegas on Wednesday before they head to the Bell Centre for the third game next Friday. The fourth game is set for Sunday, June 20 in Montreal.

If the series goes beyond four matches, the Habs will return to Vegas on Tuesday, June 22. The sixth game is set for two days later in Montreal.

If the semi-finals extend to a seventh game, it will be in Vegas on Saturday, June 26.

with files from The Canadian Press


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