Tampa won the game they had to win, a 1-0 shootout over Washington, and the Canadiens couldn’t solve a New York Islanders team they should have easily beaten.
Thus, the Canadiens lose home ice advantage.
It’s their own fault. The playoffs are hard enough without handing home ice to the other team but they made their bed. The best thing to do now is win in less than seven so Tampa’s home ice is all for naught.
It’s also very interesting to see how a couple of things play out Tampa Bay-wise.
Will Ben Bishop suit up in the series? And what’s going to happen to Ryan Malone, who was busted early Saturday on a DUI and possession of a gram and a half of cocaine? One would have to think he’s in a heap of trouble.
In 1977 Rangers forward Don Murdoch was busted at the Toronto airport with 4.5 grams of coke and was suspended by the league for an entire season, although it was lifted after 40 games.
If Ryan Malone laces up in the playoffs, it won’t seem right. I’m anxious to hear what happens. Will the league put the hammer down on this? And will they do it right away?
Malone’s also a bit of a dirty player who cold-cocked Chris Campoli back in 2011 (no suspension), and head-hunted Alexei Emelin in a game in 2012 after Emelin had leveled him with an old-time cruncher that was clean as a whistle.
This time around, it’s not an-ice problem. Cocaine and a DUI is a mighty serious combo, terrible for the Lightning and the NHL. The rep takes a hit. Not exactly role model type of stuff for kids to read and hear about.
Bishop on the other hand is a different story. He’s injured but if he’s healthy and plays, that’s fine. But if he doesn’t play, them’s the breaks.