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Duffer’s Dabbles: Longshot Canadiens Continue Paying Off



Jon Merrill trade
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jon Merrill, who spent much of the 2021 NHL season with the Detroit Red Wings, is 4 wins away from a Stanley Cup title.

It seems appropriate to point out in the same week that the Canadian government passed Bill C-218, which legalizes single sports betting in the country, the first team to reach the Stanley Cup final, the Montreal Canadiens, keep defying the odds.

At the beginning of this month, Montreal was 30-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Now the Habs are four wins away from being the Stanley Cup champions. Perhaps an even larger longshot in all of this is defenseman Jon Merrril being on the verge of an inscription on Lord Stanley’s mug. He spent 36 games this season with the Detroit Red Wings, about as far away as you can get from the Cup this side of the Buffalo Sabres.

By getting to the Cup final series, the Canadiens kept another impressive trend intact. They’ve beaten Toronto nine time in playoff series. All nine times, Montreal ended up playing in the Stanley Cup final.

Have Isles Solved Vasilevskiy?

  • NYIHN: Entering Game 7 of their semifinal series, the New York Islanders appear to have solved the puzzle of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. One more win and they get the chance to try and unlock the secret of beating Carey Price.
  • SJHN: Not so long ago, Detroit Red Wings fans were drawing up the blueprints how Erik Karlsson would sign as a free agent in Detroit to play alongside his buddy Henrik Zetterberg. Instead, Zetterberg’s back gave out and Karlsson ended up in San Jose, where his career has gone off the rails like a bachelor party in Tijuana.
  • WHN: A team that seemed to suddenly get old this season, the Washington Capitals are in need of an influx of youth. Perhaps 2020 first-round pick Hendrix Lapierre, coming off a career year in the QMJHL, is just the guy to provide that.
  • Just two years after winning the Stanley Cup, quietly efficient St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson slipped into retirement with little fanfare, other than a touching first-person account he wrote of all the game he loved gave to him over the course of his career.
  • When you’ve been around since 1909 and done a lot of winning, there’s not much new ground to break. However, Thursday’s elimination of Vegas means for the first time in franchise history, the Montreal Canadiens will gain an inscription on the Clarence Campbell Bowl.