The Blues Are the Champions

The Saint Louis Blues have finally hoisted the Stanley Cup and skated around the ice in celebration. It was a long time coming. They were counted out every step of the way. Surely, hockey conventional wisdom said, the Jets, the star studded Sharks or the lethal Boston Bruins would end the Blues run. Unfortunately, the Blues were not taken seriously. Whether it was their rookie goalie, their lack of superstar power or their record of no Cups in the past, they were written off. This continued even up to their Stanley Cup berth, when someone should have noticed just how solid the Blues were playing. It continued until right before the puck dropped for Game 7 when the Bruins fans were planning their parade before they had even begun the deciding game. Perhaps being underestimated helped them, because now they are the champions and the presumptive winners are settling for second. How did they win Game 7 on enemy ice against a battle hardened Boston Bruins team?

This is what I think. The Blues played their own brand of old school, hard hitting, puck battling hockey to perfection. They did everything that brought them to this point with zero mistakes. They got unbelievable goal tending from rookie net keeper and Calder lock Jordan Binnington. He stopped EVERYTHING the Bruins threw at him in the first period and for almost all of the game. This gave his team time to settle down and swarm around Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. The Blues are simply better than the Bruins 5 on 5. The Bruins need power plays to beat the Blues defense and they only got one, which the Blues killed. The Blues stayed out of the box and scored two amazing goals in the first period, the first from Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly and a second one from the stick of Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo with 7.2 seconds left in the first.

Once the second goal was scored, the Blues came back in the second and the Bruins were helpless. The Blues fought and fought, buzzed around Rask and kept the puck away from Binnington. There were no more penalties and the game barely stopped all through the second and into the third. No goals were scored in the second and the 2-0 lead remained.

By the third, the Blues were firmly in control and any real offensive chances for the Bruins disappeared. The Blues got better and better defensively and the Bruins could not solve them. The Blues got two more goals in the third and the Bruins managed a goal after Rask was pulled, but it was too little, way too late. It was a 4-1 victory and a dominating performance that should be a thrill for students of the this great game for years to come. Old School, scrap for the puck, hit them again hockey is back and its symbol is the classic Blue Note of this remarkable team. Few champions have deserved their victory as much as the 2018-2019 St. Louis Blues.