(Tampa) For many Quebecers, Florida is pleasant in winter, but for Canadians, Florida is not pleasant at all.
After a defeat the day before at Sunrise, the Canadian went to end the year in Tampa, with the same result as the day before: a defeat. This time, the final score was 4-3 in favor of the local team, the Lightning.
With this other defeat, the Canadian has only one victory in his last 11 games in Tampa. It’s not good for morale, to quote an old popular hit where there are palm trees.
“It’s hard to explain,” Nick Suzuki admitted. Both teams here are very good, they have talent. Since I’ve been a member of the Canadiens, we haven’t really played well against them, we won once here. So I don’t know if there is a reason or not, but it must be said that the Lightning have won cups and that the Panthers are coming back from a final… they are good clubs. »
All this is very true, but what is also true is that the Canadian does not have the eye of the tiger; this time, a 2-0 lead was squandered, following a 150-foot shot from Johnathan Kovacevic. All this in a net left empty by a goalkeeper, Jonas Johansson, who thought the game was stopped following a save by Samuel Montembeault.
But the CH goalie put the puck back in play, and the house DJ, wrongly believing that the referee had whistled, started his tune, while the Lightning guys had stopped playing.
“It’s funny to say but that goal probably whipped them,” added Suzuki. After that, we felt that their supporters were more vocal. They started shouting and they got on the referees’ backs, and that created a spark… We deserved better, I think, but the Lightning players took advantage of that madness. »
We can also add the name of Martin St-Louis to those who believe that the Canadian deserved better.
At the end of the evening, while the Canadiens and Lightning fans here exchanged New Year’s greetings, often in a very sarcastic way, Suzuki gave his team hope with a superb goal at 17:55 of the third.
But once again, the hero who was going to push everyone to a tie and into overtime never got up. This has often been a problem for this team this season.
“I think we played well, enough to win anyway,” Josh Anderson insisted. But we couldn’t get the favorable leaps while they got them. »
Is it just a matter of favorable leaps? Is it a question of talent? Will this Bye Bye have been better than the last one or the other one before? As 2024 approaches, we do not yet know the answers to all these crucial questions.
But we presume that the Canadian was eager to get out of here, unlike the thousands of Quebecers who do not want to leave.