Three of five Canadian teams have been eliminated from the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, and Ottawa Senators saw early exits, the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames are up for their own challenge that is the conference semi-finals. Season statistics have indicated that both teams have not faired well against their second round opponent, but the playoffs might just change things up.
The Montreal Canadiens were run for their money against the Ottawa Senators after winning in seven games following a 3-0 series lead. The Montreal Canadiens were 0-4-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2014-15 regular season. If the Habs want to make it to the Conference finals for the second year in a row, their goal scoring needs to show up to respond to Carey Price’s brilliant goaltending. The Habs could definitely be a force against the Lightning, providing that they keep Steven Stamkos off the scoreboard, and have a great end-to-end game.
The Calgary Flames have definitely been a surprise this season. The team surprised critics both with and without their top defenceman Mark Giordano throughout the season and eventually making it to the playoffs. The Flames won a six-game series against their rival Vancouver Canucks, and are now facing off against the potent Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks did outscore the Flames throughout the regular season series, but the Flames’ resilience demonstrated throughout the regular season must continue for success. The series will be a battle of the goaltenders, which will see former Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller of the Flames face off against Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen. From goaltending to offensive punch, the Calgary Flames will have to play their style to shut down the mighty Anaheim Ducks.