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Lightning vs. Canadiens, 1st all East Cup final since 1980

They don't need to change time zones.

This will be the first final between two Eastern Conference teams since 41 years, thanks to an altered playoff format. Montreal and Tampa Bay will meet for the Stanley Cup for the third consecutive time after eight postseasons.

After a 1-0 win against the New York Islanders in Game 7, Steven Stamkos, Lightning captain, said that "they're going get the most talented team they've ever played against" and that "we're going get the best team we've faced so far." It's going be a hard, grindy series.

Montreal beat Tampa Bay in the 2014 East final. The Lightning defeated the Canadiens six times in the second round to reach the final in 2015. Six other players from the series, including Stamkos, Lightning coach Jon Cooper and Stamkos, are still with the team. The Canadiens have Brendan Gallagher as their only remaining player from that period.

Since then, these teams have had to switch roles. The Canadiens are the current younger team, but they have not yet advanced to the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Lightning suffered the pain of losing the 2015 final and being swept out in the first round of 2019. They then won it all in the bubble last season.

Cooper stated that it took a lot of work to get there. Cooper said that it was all about building blocks, and that you cannot predict what would happen. It will happen.

It's happening right now with Game 1 at Tampa Bay scheduled for Monday night.

TRAVEL HELP

In 1980, the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers to win their first Stanley Cup Final. This was their fourth consecutive title. Reggie Leach, then-Flyers forward, didn't mind the bus rides between Philadelphia and Long Island. "We took a bus to every place back then," he said.

It won't be exactly like the recent series between Boston, St. Louis, Washington, Vegas, Chicago, and Tampa Bay.

Patrick Sharp, a former Blackhawks forward and now a NBC Sports analyst said that flying across the country can be tiring. You have enough stress and pressure from those games that it was hard to spend your off days getting ready for another game.

PRICE VS. VATILEVSKY

Which goaltender is the best in hockey? It could be decided by the final between Carey Price of Montreal and Andrei Vasilevskiy from Tampa Bay.

Price allowed 35 goals in 17 matches, while Vasilevskiy scored 36 goals in 18 matches.

Vasilevskiy stated that it would be a difficult task for both teams. "Carey, obviously, he's an excellent goalie -- one the best in NHL -- so, he'll get my best effort, for certain."

CROWD CONTROL

Cooper stated that he had never heard a building so loud as the Islanders' semifinal clincher. This was with Tampa Bay's Amalie Arena full capacity. Montreal's Bell Centre was limited to 3,500 people, but there is hope that more will be allowed for the final.

Cooper stated, "I hope they allow more fans in there." Cooper said, "The Quebec fans deserve it. They haven’t been back since 1993. They are deserved to see their team play. They deserve to watch their team play. This game was intended to be played in front fans.

COACHING CONTRAST

Cooper has been the Lightning's coach since 2013, but the Canadiens have hired their third coach since February. Dominque Ducharme assumed control after Claude Julien was fired. Luke Richardson, an assistant, became the acting coach after Ducharme tested positive to the coronavirus.

Ducharme could be released from isolation as soon at Game 3 Friday in Montreal.

WIN NOW VS. WIN NOW VS.

Montreal will be seeking its first title since 1993, when it was Tampa Bay's inaugural year. Montreal will be looking for its first championship since 1993, when it won the inaugural season. The Canadiens hold a record 24 NHL titles. However, the Lightning have won twice in 2004 and have become a benchmark for franchise success.

Stamkos stated, "It's going be a huge problem for us and that's where you go back to all of the times we've been here in this situation." "And this core, there are guys who this is their third final. We can only look back at our past experiences and move on from there."

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