It was easily the most exciting June the Montreal Canadiens have had in a very long time. Not only did the team make it further than it had since 1993 but they also gave their all every single shift. An inspiring mix of kids and veterans was just one of the many storylines for a group that had a different hero almost every night on the way to 13 postseason wins.
First Star: Carey Price
For the second month in a row, Price was the obvious choice for first star. The veteran star led the Habs all the way to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 28 years with a Conn Smythe worthy performance. The unbelievable clutch saves are almost too numerous to count for Price in June and he kept them in just about every game, save for a couple of tough ones against the Lightning. His run during the playoffs was the stuff of legend.
Stats: 12 GP, 8-4 record, 2.24 GAA, 0.917 save %
Second Star: Nick Suzuki
The Habs rode a spectacular mix of young and old during their improbable run to the Final. Nowhere was this more evident than with Nick Suzuki. The 21-year-old seems to get better with every game, particularly when it matters most. Now the unquestioned number one centre on the Canadiens, he brings elite vision and creativity, along with tremendous defensive play. The Habs’ extensive search for a first line centre appears to have finally come to a close.
Stats: 12 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 PTS, -4 rating
Third Star: Shea Weber
Speaking of mixing young and old, the captain was a force in June, leading the way with tenacity and physicality. Though he was nursing a hand injury, (reportedly a thumb issue) which definitely limited his offensive output, Weber thrived in just about every other aspect of the game. He was a force game in and game out, making life miserable for the opposition’s top forwards alongside partner Ben Chiarot. That pairing, along with Edmundson and Petry, gave the opposition fits most nights.
Stats: 12 GP, 1 G, 4 A, 5 PTS, 3 rating
Honourable Mention: Cole Caufield
Caufield brings an element that has been missing from the Habs for a while now – pure offensive instincts. His injection into the lineup balanced out the lines and his performance in clutch situations was a difference-maker for the team. His shot is elite and he finds plenty of creative ways to get it off – with the extra space that can be found in the regular season, he has a legit shot at the Calder Trophy next season.
Stats: 12 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 PTS, -3 rating