For the better part of Game 4, the whistles had been put away. As the clock wound down in the third period with the score tied at three, there had only been two penalties called all night, the last coming just two minutes into the second period.
Over 35 minutes of game play later, with just two minutes left on the clock, 20-year-old Cedric Paquette of the Lightning found himself sitting in the penalty box, likely praying to the hockey gods that his penalty – which was a penalty, though it wasn’t the most egregious – wouldn’t cost his team.
Max Pacioretty scored the first playoff goal of his career on Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis with 43 seconds left to put the Habs up 4-3; as Paquette made the long skate across the ice back to his bench, the olés came raining down.
So, how did Habs/Bolts come to be a 4-0 sweep? Weren’t these two teams supposed to be locked in for a close series? Weren’t their regular season battles tighter than two coats of paint?
How Montreal swept Tampa
The unfortunate injury to Vezina hopeful Ben Bishop meant Tampa Bay was going to be heading into the playoffs with back-up Anders Lindback, and he hadn’t had much of a season. With Carey Price at the far end, he was going to have to step it up his game, and it looked like there might be hope for him, as he was good during Tampa’s last few regular season games.
But nope. Lindback was so bad I suggested “Lindbad” as a nickname, while Daryl Reaugh topped that lazy joke with the hashtag “#LindbackOfTheNet.” Read the rest of this entry »