The St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins went into Game 7 knowing one would go home Champions, and one would go home wondering what they could have done better. After all was said and done, it was a celebration 49 years in the making as the St. Louis Blues handing the Boston Bruins a devastating 4-1 loss to win their first Stanley Cup Champion in franchise history.
When you consider that in January, St. Louis was in last place, the win is that much sweeter. As his teammates rushed onto the ice after the final buzzer sounded and the media came out in droves hoping for interviews, Patrick Maroon was searching the crowd for his family and son.
“Where is my family? I can’t wait to give him a huge hug.”
By the time Maroon found his family, tears had filled his eyes. Maroon is the golden child of the Blues after turning down better offers so he could play for his hometown team. As soon as he saw his son, he took him into his arms for a hug of a lifetime. Commenting, Maroon said,
“These are memories I’ll never forget. This will be something that we can talk about for the rest of our lives.”
The reality was the odds were against the St. Louis Blues even making the playoffs, but after winning 30 plus games post-January, and fighting through each stage of the playoffs, the Blues were facing a dream they thought would not come. They only needed to outplay, outwit and beat a team with more experience and one of the best goalies in the league.
However, The Blues were not without their own arsenal of talent, and with Jordan Binnington in the net, St. Louis set their eyes on winning. Binnington was superb in net for Game 7 and made save after save to keep the Boston Bruins at bay. He became one of the youngest goalies to hoist the Stanley Cup and taking over the starting position from Jake Allen in January, he earned the right
Binnington was ST. Louis fourth goalie during training camp and had not had a start since January, but it was not hard to see the value he brought to the table and difference he made in helping the Blues win the Cup, his netminding was nothing less than spectacular. Commenting, Binnington said, “They welcomed me in and I just tried to battle, do my job and keep my mouth shut. I can’t believe we’re here now.”
The Conn Smythe Trophy for the playoffs most valuable player went to Ryan O’Reilly. This award is one that is voted on by those in the Professional Hockey Writers Association. O’Reilly played the last two rounds of the playoffs with a cracked rib and never faltered. On receiving the trophy, O’Reilly said,
“There was a couple tough games, but once you kind of get going and the adrenaline takes over, I didn’t notice it.”
— St. Louis Blues 🏆 (@StLouisBlues) June 14, 2019
“To bring it back home to St. Louis, it couldn’t be better. Being from St. Louis, I was one of those fans when I was young. Even when I played for other teams in the NHL, I still watched those Blues, how they suffered, how those fans suffered. Not anymore.”
The Blues had aspirations of earning the Central Division title after they added David Perron, Tyler Bozak and Ryan O’Reilly in the off-season. They were at the bottom of the league, and six of those on the roster were on the list of those the Blues were looking to trade. Luckily GM Doug Armstrong didn’t get his way, or the results could have been far different. Commenting on the frustration, O’Reilly said.
“We were all questioning each other and we got frustrated. We kept working though. We figured out how to have success by being a tough team to play against.”
It was a perfect end to the Stanley Cup playoffs. After seeing each of the four number one seeded teams going out in the first round, it was the Blues who were last to qualify after defeating Tampa Bay in a four game sweep. That opened the door for St. Louis and the fairytale story that followed. Commenting, Doug Armstrong said,
“I thought Tampa was the clear-cut favourite early and everything else was wide open. We went into every series and I thought we had a chance to win.”
— St. Louis Blues 🏆 (@StLouisBlues) June 14, 2019
The Boston Bruins were the clear cut favourite having earned 107 points in the regular season. However, the Blues came on strong, figured out what was needed to put the Bruins at a disadvantage and off their game. That was evident in Game 7 as Boston watched the Blues take the lead, build on it and hoist the Cup. The emotion that comes with the loss after a long hard fought season was not lost on Brad Marchand, who emotionally stated,
“Just disbelief that it didn’t come together. That’s not how you play it out. It’s heartbreaking. You never know when you’ll get that chance again. It could be the last one.”
Now, it is time for the St. Louis Blues, the city and their fans to celebrate, prepare for the parade and bask in their success. For The Bruins, it is time to take a closer look after depending heavily on its core players to get the job done and watching as they failed.