An entire generation of Montreal Canadiens fans got to experience what was almost the ultimate hockey high, as their team qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't meant to be. The Tampa Bay Lightning handled the Canadiens with relative ease, winning the series in five games and earning their second straight title.
Needless to say, Habs fans aren't exactly in the greatest of moods right now following their heartbreaking 1-0 loss in last night's deciding Game 5 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. It certainly hurts having to watch their team shake hands at center ice and then head to the dressing room, dejected and into an uncertain future.
Enter Nikita Kucherov, who arrived to pour a gallon of lemon juice onto their open wounds.
The Russian sniper, who tallied a goal and an assist in his squad's series win over Montreal, absolutely dunked on Montreal fans who were understandably elated at having gotten the chance to see their team win a Stanley Cup Finals game for the first time in 28 years. Montreal may have gotten to celebrate at home in Game 4, but Tampa Bay got the last laugh on their home ice, and Kucherov made sure Habs fans knew it.
"The fans in Montreal acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game," a giddy and shirtless Kucherov stated during his post-game press conference. "Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Their final was last round."
Oh my. Talk about kicking a fan base when they're down!
Of course, there was plenty of celebration amongst the limited amount of fans in Bell Centre and the thousands on the streets outside of the venue following the Habs stunning the favored Vegas Golden Knights in overtime of Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Semifinals and advancing to the Final.
However, a 25th Stanley Cup banner won't be hanging from the rafters just yet. It sounds like if it were up to Kucherov, the only banner that would be raised at the start of next season would be with a giant asterisk due to the fact that only 13 of the necessary 16 wins were earned.
Hockey players are known for being more on the reserved side when it comes to interviews, and rarely let their personalities shine through. Kucherov did so - and then some.