Welcome back to Easy Like Ea-Monday Morning, you’re easy reading article to start off your week. The best part is if you are reading this properly, you should be doing so on the pooper during company time! In this week’s edition we celebrate American Independence Day by eating a PK Subban amount of hot dogs, and the Habs look to reach the first checkpoint in their climb up Mount Everest.
With some US influence here at Hot Sauce Sports, it was impossible to ignore all of the beer and fireworks Alex the Intern had to celebrate. For those of us here in Canada we cracked a cold one and strapped in to watch Joey Chestnut go for history. Say what you will about eating contests, Chestnut has now entered the conversation as one of the most dominant athletes in their sport. You can argue that this isn’t a sport but if so, please let us know how long it takes you to eat 76 hot dogs.
Regardless of how you feel about the event, Chestnut’s dominance is an incredible sight. It feels like he is doing his best Usain Bolt impersonation by beating his own personal record by a single hot dog. Chestnut now owns the 10 of the Top 10 performances for the most hot dogs consumed in the contest. Something tells me that Joey Chestnut could really use this article today.
Switching gears back to Canada and the Stanley Cup finals, the Habs are preparing the fight their way out of the 0-3 hole they find themselves in against Tampa Bay. The Lightning are the true juggernauts of the NHL and they are showing why. They made quick work of Florida and Carolina in back to back series going 8-3 against the two teams that finished 3rd and 4th in the NHL standings respectively. Their depth is unmatched both up front on forward and on the blue line and they have an all world goalie, who is going punch for punch (putting it lightly) with Price.
All of this on paper is a daunting task for any team, and just to add the cherry on top, Jon Cooper is putting on a Master’s level class on in-game management. It definitely helps when you have a roster like Tampa’s but he has completely neutralized the Habs entire game plan, reducing Toffoli-Suzuki-Caufield (maybe not Suzuki) to next to nothing, while also keeping his top players away from the Danault line.
With all of that being said, the Habs are still not out of it! Never count out Carey Price, especially when he is in an elimination game. It is fair to say that Price’s play has not been up to the standard he has set for himself, however he remains the main reasons that Habs made it to the Cup finals and he is the guy who can turn this series around with his play.
The Habs will also need to drastically reduce their mistakes, especially at the blue lines which is one of the most basic clichés in hockey, but it’s true. The Lightning are battle tested and they know how to weather the storm when they are playing on their heels and they can turn the tide in an instant by taking advantage of any (and basically all) mistakes the opposing team makes. Games 2 and 3 are a perfect example of this as the final scores do not accurately reflect how close those games were, and that is the power of the Lightning roster.
If the Habs are to take the first step in making a comeback, they will need to keep their confidence through out the game. A lot of this undoubtedly comes from Price and with the season on the line, you would expect that Price will come out with his best performance tonight. The Power Play will be another crucial piece to the puzzle as it has not only failed to generate any offense, it hasn’t really generated much momentum. They have 1 PP goal in the series, and it was one that Vasilevskiy clearly should have had.
Finally the team will need a better performance from Ducharme. This is not to say that he has been bad, but he is getting out coached by a large margin. Jon Cooper minimized last change in Game 3 to perfection, however Ducharme has proven to be a student of the game and has made the proper adjustments in the past even if they were not the popular decisions. His changes to the roster for Game 4 may fall under this category, but he is a man with a plan and just like with Carey, a much better performance from Ducharme should be anticipated.
The optics and odds may look bleak for the Habs at the moment but the fan base remains optimistic for the most part. The Habs have proven to be a resilient group coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the First Round and they will not just roll over and let Tampa have the cup. It starts with one and in Carey we trust.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and be sure to check us out on Youtube for all of our podcasts and videos! In the latest episode of Weekly Sauce, Terry and Alex the Intern are joined by one of Alex’s favourite local player’s Raphael Lavoie. They discuss his time with the Oilers, playing in Europe and of course his favourite poutine and restaurant in Montreal.