Sunday, June 27, 2021. 3:47 PM
Veteran Ryan McDonagh was full of praise for young teammate Mikhail Sergachev on Sunday as the Tampa Bay Lightning prepare to face the Canadiens for their second consecutive appearance in the final series of the Stanley Cup.
McDonagh was particularly impressed with Sergechev’s work in Game 7 of the semifinal against the New York Islanders on Friday night. The defending champions signed a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to a shorthanded goal from Yanni Gourde.
“I think this seventh game was one of the best since I’ve been on the team,” said the one acquired from the New York Rangers in February 2018. The now 32-year-old American full-back added that Sergachev was one of the great architects of this triumph.
Sergachev notably spent 23 minutes 52 seconds on Friday night, in addition to blocking five shots, including one particularly critical in the last moments of the meeting. Sergachev was also present on the ice when Gourde scored what turned out to be the winning goal.
Sergachev has averaged 21:58 per game – the highest since his career began – and has only been edged out by all-star defenseman Victor Hedman in that regard with the Lightning this season. The Russian also scored 4 goals and collected 26 assists in 56 games.
Sergachev, the second year of a 3-year contract worth US $ 14.4 million, was acquired from the Canadiens in return for the services of Jonathan Drouin in June 2017, after playing just 4 games. with the Montreal training. Recall that McDonagh was drafted in the 1st round by the Canadiens in 2007, but never wore the team colors, being ceded to the New York Rangers in the transaction that sent forward Scott Gomez to CH.
Quebecers of the Lightning against 8 million opponents