St-Louis Blues Take Home the Stanley Cup
After 52 years of existence, the St-Louis Blues finally won the Stanley Cup. But it wasn’t an easy road; they were last in the NHL standings on the morning of Jan. 3, they changed their head-coach mid-season, no player on the roster had ever won the Cup before, and they started a rookie goaltender, Jordan Binnington, promoted from the AHL to the main club in January. Moreover, the team had ‘only’ 20 Canadian-born players on its roster. So they battled it out to a game seven 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins, outplaying them and overcoming their home crowd.
The Blues management bet it all on this season, swinging it big on the free agency market over the summer. But, when the crunch came, they defeated the Winnipeg Jets, the Dallas Stars, the San Jose Sharks, before heading to Boston for the ultimate duel, in a seven games showdown. Throughout the playoffs, they even manage to tie the most road wins record in a single postseason with 10. Ryan O’Reilly, Conn Smythe winner, has even set a franchise-best points record in a single postseason with 23 (8 goals and 15 assists).
The Bruins came out strong in game seven, playing in front of a home crowd at the TD Garden. But the St-Louis team general manager Doug Armstrong put together (a flurry of free agents signings last summer, which included David Perron, Patrick Maroon, and Tyler Bozak, plus the acquisition from Buffalo of center Ryan O’Neil for a hefty price) simply outplayed the Bruins in the final game of the series. And what is there more to say about Jordan Binnington, who became the first rookie to win all 16 games to finally get to hold up the Stanley Cup? In game seven, he stopped 32 out of the 33 shots the Bruins let go at him. A restricted free agent this summer, he’ll soon get paid his dues in hard cold cash.
Check out our previous Stanley cup predictions and let us know if we got it right!