The best feel-good tales of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Cole Caufield celebrated the Montreal Canadiens’ first visit to the Stanley Cup Final in 28 years by eating a slice of pizza given by teammate Phillip Danault on Thursday, following the Canadiens eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of the Stanley Glass Semifinals.

Even while, Caufield’s long-period critics were consuming their words.

Caufield is accomplishing exactly that and is becoming among the best feel-good tales of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, leading all rookies with 9 points (4 goals, five assists) in 15 games.

The Canadiens will play at the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the best-of-7 Cup Last on Monday.

Caufield has heard the same doubts about his video game since this individual was a boy playing small hockey in his indigenous Stevens Stage, Wisconsin. He’s too little (5-foot-7, 165 pounds). He’s as well fragile. He’ll by no means endure to the physical rigors of the NHL, especially through the playoffs when the quantity of hitting intensifies.

His response has gone to emerge among the Canadiens’ most powerful players and an integral cog within their first check out to the ultimate since 1993, if they defeated the LA Kings in five online games to win the Glass. The most amazing component is he offers gotten better as the playoffs possess gone on.

In the Stanley Cup First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Caufield had one help out with five games. He added three assists in Montreal’s second-circular sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.

The 20-year-old’s production continued to improve against the Golden Knights. He have scored five points (four goals, one support), and his spectacular objective in the next period helped the Canadiens to a series-clinching 3-2 overtime win in Video game 6 at Bell Center in Montreal.

Though many observers have already been surprised at Caufield’s rapid ascension, former NHL forward Tony Granato, his coach at the University of Wisconsin, is not.

He did it with a chip upon his shoulder.

Caufield was selected by the Canadiens with the Simply no. 15 choose in the 2019 NHL Draft. He was considered probably the most gifted offensive players obtainable after completing the 2018-19 time of year with the united states Hockey National Group Development System Under-18 squad with with 100 factors (72 goals, 28 assists) in 64 video games. His goals total marked an NTDP record, surpassing the 55 goals middle Auston Matthews, at this point with the Maple Leafs, scored in 2014-15.

Granato said among the points that drives Caufield is displaying the hockey globe that he must have been selected higher.