A storm front is coming, and it’s not just Canadians on the rise.
As Lightning and Canadiens battle each other on the ice, the two teams will also battle the elements. Tropical Storm Elsa is approaching Tampa Bay.
“Yeah, it’s not a surprise anymore,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Tuesday morning before the team left Montreal for Florida before the storm. “I think whatever happens right now and for a while, we just take it and look at it, and say it’s probably part of our destiny. It’s been crazy. But we’re a bunch of crazy guys here, and. ” we are going to accept that challenge. “
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The Canadiens extended the Stanley Cup final when they won a dramatic Game 4 in overtime on a rebound count from Josh Anderson. Tampa Bay leads the best-of-seven series 3-1.
“We lost an opportunity last night,” Lightning defender Ryan McDonagh said. “Our group knows it. And you turn the page pretty quickly here this morning and you realize what a great opportunity you have here as a team, as a group and as an organization up 3-1 in the series and you have to win one more and obviously , you’re going to a place that you’re familiar with, with a fan base that will be behind us and we have to go out there and do our best and try to win a hockey game. “
Game 5 is scheduled for 8 pm ET Wednesday at Amalie Arena; Elsa is ready to make landfall in the morning. Winds ranging from 39 to 73 mph, rain and storm surge are expected for “Sun City” starting Tuesday afternoon. There are concerns that the tropical storm could strengthen as it swings over the Gulf of Mexico and become a Category 1 hurricane before hitting the city. A hurricane watch has been ordered as the storm is reporting winds of around 70 mph at 1:45 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center (75 mph would make it a category 1).
The arena is not far from the Garrison Channel. Deputy Commissioner Billy Daly said Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press the NHL “will continue to monitor and make a call when necessary. We have some flexibility.”
“This whole season has been a little chaotic, a little hectic,” Canadiens forward Corey Perry said. “We’ve been through everything between COVID, the way we play some nights and everything. And now, yeah, you’re right, we’re potentially going into a hurricane. Hopefully, we get there, we have your safe and we can play that game tomorrow for the night and then come back here. “
Aside from the teams traveling on Tuesday, the Stanley Cup also crossed the border. If Tampa Bay can win in front of its fans on Wednesday, more than 16,000, as of now, expected to fill the building, it will spell the end of the 2021 NHL season. Otherwise, the teams will take flights back to Montreal.