By now you know the news: The Montreal Canadiens pulled off their second upset of epic proportions in the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday by toppling Pittsburgh, 5-2, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Not exactly the way Sidney Crosby and the boys wanted the franchise’s last game in historic Mellon Arena to go down. But that’s a different, less fun story.
What’s much better is what the Canadiens are actually up to.
Nobody, naturally, expected them to get out of the first round as an eight seed against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
But there was goaltender Jaroslav Halak, stonewalling one of the most potent offenses in the league and its top scorer. Halak practically willed Montreal to a series win.
With Pittsburgh waiting everybody wrote the Canadiens off again.
Halak deserves a lot of the credit. He stood tall way too many times to count. But you don’t beat two of the league’s best teams — and its top two players — without a little more than that.
Or a lot more.
Brian Gionta has been great. Same goes for Mike Cammalleri. Same goes for big, veteran defenseman Hal Gill. Same goes for everybody. A team doesn’t go on the road and beat the defending Stanley Cup champions without contributions from everybody.
So what does it mean moving forward? Who knows?
Philadelphia won at home Wednesday to force a Game 7 at Boston. The Bruins are banged up and the Flyers have all the momentum. Could we see a Philly-Montreal final in the Eastern Conference? Absolutely.
And we’d put our money on Montreal. Who’s to question them now? Who’s to question Halak? Not us.