2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Prediction Round 2

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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens

Now we take a look into the final match-up of round 1, featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning (A-2) and the Montreal Canadiens (A-1). Montreal staved off elimination after a relentless comeback from the Senators that eventually saw them fall short. The Lightning had trouble of their own, inching by a veteran Red Wings club in game 7.

Tampa Bay struggled massively with the Detroit Red Wings, failing to get their offense going. Steven Stamkos was shut down all series as Tyler Johnson carried the load for the Bolts. The Canadiens on the other hand leaned on Vezina and Hart nominee Carey Price, who was unstoppable in the Habs series clinching game.

The Lightning swept the season series against the Habs 5-0. Tampa Bay didn’t just dominate the season series, they single-handedly showed they were the better team. Montreal swept the Bolts in the postseason just a year ago, with Ben Bishop sidelined due to an injury. The bad news for Montreal fans is that Ben Bishop is healthy and Tampa Bay has revenge on their mind.

This series will be decided based off of the play of Steven Stamkos. If Stamkos lays an egg against Montreal and plays like he did in Round 1, the Canadiens will take the series. This has to be the main focus for Montreal, using the blueprint that Detroit drew up. Carey Price played well in Round 1 but will have to play even better against the Lightning.

I expect this to be an emotional and intense series as a rivalry is starting to brew. Although Tampa Bay struggled in round 1, they are too talented to lose to a mediocre Montreal team. Steven Stamkos will be back and the Habs just doesn’t have enough scoring depth. Carey Price will be fantastic as usual, but it won’t be enough. Bolts in 6.

Please post your predictions below as I would love to hear them!