After a back and forth series that saw Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins get knocked around, the St. Louis Blues managed to pull away with the victory, being named the Stanley Cup champions for the 2018-2019 season.
Led by Jordan Binnington as well as centreman Ryan O’Reilly, the Blues not only forced a game 7, but brought things to wraps with a 4-1 victory. It is the first time in NHL history in which St. Louis has won the cup. After scoring in his fourth straight game and recording 23 total points this offseason, Ryan O’Reilly was named playoff MVP, receiving this year’s annual Conn Smythe Trophy.
In addition to that, O’Reilly’s 23 points are the most ever recorded in one St. Louis Blues offseason. Speaking of special features, the roster included Patrick Maroon, a veteran left-winger born and raised in Missouri.
While Maroon was just one of thirty players guided by interim head coach Craig Berube, the roster included eleven defensemen, amongst them including Canadian Alex Pietrangelo.
Speaking of Alex Pietrangelo, he added a goal and an assist en route to the 4-1 victory in game seven on Wednesday, meanwhile, adding to the damage already done by Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford earlier on.
This would not be all if you look at the positives for the St. Louis Blues as Jordan Binnington stopped 32 shots, leading his teammates to a historic achievement. The win comes 52 years in the making, sending the Bruins back to Boston signing the blues.
If you turn the clock back to New Year’s morning just five months ago, the St. Louis Blues owned the NHL’s worst record, but managed to turn things around like no other team could. Furthermore, the club went on to win 30 of their final 49 regular season games, this push making them eligible to clinch a playoff berth and for the 42nd time in franchise history. Not only that, but it also allowed them to reach the final for the first time dating back to May 10th, 1970.
As for the man who led the St. Louis Blues from behind the scenes, Craig Berube took over for Mike Yeo in November after he was relieved of his duties as bench boss. Since then, Berube has become the fourth coach in the past 11 years hired midseason to lead his team to a Stanley Cup Championship.
While for the most part it is all picture perfect after defeating Boston in a seven-game series, it is important to note that the Bruins had upside, outshooting the Blues by a 33-20 margin. In addition to that, Matt Grzelcyk scored Boston’s only goal while Tukka Rask made 16 saves for the Bruins.
As for Ryan O’Reilly, a Clinton, Ontario native in his first year with the team, the 28-year-old centerman becomes the first player since Wayne Gretzky to score in four straight games during the Stanley Cup Finals. Unlike “The Great One”, however, who leads the NHL in regular and postseason scoring, it is worth noting that Ryan O’Reilly had just three goals in his first 22 playoff games.
More to come.