Cinderella Blues Author Picture Perfect Ending
The St. Louis Blues end their Cinderella run as Stanley Cup Champions after a convincing 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 7.
The Blues were unphased after losing 5-1 in Game 6 and having to travel back to Boston as a clear underdog. The team’s resiliency was on full display since January 3rd. The Blues on that day were not just last in the Central Division they were 31st our 31 teams in points. The feat of pulling themselves from the bottom to almost winning the division through this playoff run is historic.
St. Louis only missed the playoffs nine times in 52 years an embodiment of consistency. The current run now led by team leaders Vladimir Tarasenko and team captain Alex Pietrangelo has watched the team make the playoffs every year except one since 2011. However, no matter what the teams accomplished in the regular season they never were able to reach the ultimate goal and win the Stanley Cup.
The Blues has not made an appearance in the final in almost 50 years where the team suffered a sweep at the hands of Bobby Orr and the Bruins in 1970. The fact that they were able to defeat the Bruins here in 2019 with the long history of the two cities including the Red Sox defeating the Cardinals twice since 2004 in the World Series makes this victory even sweeter.
The franchise over the years had hall-of-fame players Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Bernie Federko, and Chris Pronger. They even had the “Great One,” Wayne Gretzky as a rental for the second half of one season only to be thwarted by the rival Detroit RedWings. The team’s other stars over the years were Bob Gassoff, Barclay and Bobby Plager, and Brian Sutter. Despite all the winning teams the cup continued to escape their grasp.
The Blues are the surprising team that stood last at the beginning of the calendar year winning the cup defeating a Winnipeg Jets team that went the Conference Finals in 2018, then beating the Dallas Stars in a two-overtime thriller, before overcoming a controversial loss against the San Jose Sharks and winning the series in six.
“We came into the season with a lot of hopes, and we let each other down a bit for the start of the season. But there was no doubt in our minds that we couldn’t come back and come out on top,” Blues defenseman Vince Dunn said.
The Blues were not the flashiest team, but they were a team built on grit, determination, and balance. They received solid goalkeeping from rookie Jordan Binnington that allowed the team to grow confidence. The club rode the wave of their success to the ultimate triumph.
Blues Win First Stanley Cup
The St. Louis Blues energized by 32 saves from rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, and a strong effort from all four lines captured the Stanley Cup.
Sabres Trying to Escape the Quicksand
The Buffalo Sabres after having a 10-game winning streak early in the season finished with only four more wins than the worst team in hockey.
NHL Atlantic Division Offseason (Episode 55)
A look at the offseason for the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs.