Thursday, August 15, 2013

Matchup 6: #1 Montreal Meltdown vs. #3 Shocked by the Lightning

The second semifinal match in the WMICPH contest is underway, as the infamous 2010 Montreal Meltdown takes on the little less infamous sweep in 2011 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The winner of this will take on the 4OT loss to Pittsburgh in the finals.

Let's jump right into it.

Both of these teams, 2010 and 2011, were ranked number one in the Eastern Conference, and represented what were probably this franchise's best opportunities to reach the SCF. I'd say that the Lightning loss was a bit more important based on the fact that it was in the second round, and it was after the Caps had changed their team identity, and this second point probably led to Bruce Boudreau's dismissal in 2012.
Advantage: Lightning Shocker

The impact sort of goes along with importance, but Montreal has evened the playing field a little in this one. The impact of the Meltdown was the franchise facelift that saw the team switch directions into a defensive style and led to Alex Ovechkin's two-year slump. Still, the impact of the Lightning series was huge as well, and it is hard to choose one over the other.
Advantage: Push

Shock Factor:
This is not even close. While Tampa was not supposed to win, they dominated the entire series, whereas Montreal won as an 8th seed after being down 3-1 in the series. Again, not even close.
Advantage: Montreal Meltdown

Grudge/Hate Factor:
Whether it is all the years as division rivals, the two disappointing playoff losses, or something else completely, Caps fans just can't stand Tampa Bay.
Advantage: Lightning Shocker

In the end, the Lightning Shocker does it again, and is my choice to represent the OV-Era Conference in the WMICPH final, where it will take on the 4OT loss to Pittsburgh. And you, dear reader, can help by voting in the poll at the bottom of the page, and come back soon to see the final of this contest.

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