After getting bounced in five games during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season by the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens are looking to learn from the experience and improve on it.
"Last year didn't go the way we wanted it to, but we need to look at what went well and what didn't go so well. Hopefully this year we will be better," Brendan Gallagher said after practice.
This year, the Canadiens have a little more depth to work with by adding players like Daniel Briere, Dale Weise, Mike Weaver, Douglas Murray and arguably, the biggest addition to this playoff roster, Thomas Vanek, who the Canadiens were able to land at the trade deadline.
Vanek, along with his linemates Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais have been have been a force to be reckoned with for the Habs. The three have combined for 29 points in the last 10 games of the regular season, and will be the line the Habs will count on to lead them in scoring this post-season.
"Five-on-five play will be a difference maker and that's where our line needs to be good," Thomas Vanek told the media.
Based on the way the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens have played each other this season, one can only expect to see a low scoring series. Three of the four games between the two clubs ended with 2-1 scores that were decided in overtime or shootouts
"That was playoff hockey to a ‘T' this year against Tampa" said goaltender Carey Price.
After a successful Olympic run that saw Price win gold in Sochi, the 26-year-old goaltender will try and build off the experience he gained during his time with Team Canada.
"Seeing how other guys conducted themselves during pressure situations and how previous Stanley Cup winners prepared for the game was valuable," Price added.
Goaltending on the Lightning side of things is still questionable with Ben Bishop getting injured with just three games left in the regular season.
Travis Moen will travel with the team to Tampa Bay but is not cleared to play. He's still recovering from the concussion he suffered back on March 24.