An electric atmosphere set the tone for Game 7 following a rousing rendition of the national anthem from Todd Angilly and the Boston Bruins matched that energy to start this one. The Bruins came out firing on all cylinders early in the first period. They were getting pucks on net and even got an early power play that sent Colton Parayko to the box. Shot after shot, nothing was getting by rookie goaltender, Jordan Binnington. Binnington held down the fort for the St. Louis Blues the entire period and were able to get a huge penalty kill, which turned into two late goals from Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo. O’Reilly’s goal came from a great forecheck and led to shot on the point from Jay Bowumeester that deflected off of O’Reilly’s stick and past Tuukka Rask. With seconds left in the opening period, Jaden Schwartz was able to get by poor defending from Brad Marchand, leading to a great pass to Alex Pietrangelo and a backhanded wrist shot by Rask to make it 2-0 Blues right before intermission. Boston outshot St. Louis 12 to 4 in the first period with nothing to show for it.
The second period did not see much action as the Blues took their foot off the pedal slightly and were not getting the attacks they had late in the first period. Rask, with help from Zdeno Chara, were able to keep a puck out of the night that went behind Rask, bounced off the crossbar, and landed behind Rask before being frozen. Boston had looks but they were not great ones and Binnington was able to make some simple saves. The Blues were now 20 minutes away from their first ever Stanley Cup championship but one can only believe what a terrible predicament this must be for the St. Louis faithful as their beloved Blues are notorious for blowing games.
We will remember the name, Jordan Binnington after tonight because the rookie put on one of the greatest Stanley Cup Final performances of all-time and it was capped by an immaculate pad save from a Joakim Nordstrom shot from point-blank range. After the save, that was all she wrote as minutes later, Brayden Schenn would give St. Louis a 3-0 lead with under ten minutes to go. Zach Sanford would add more insult to injury for the Bruins with a fourth goal. In garbage time, Matt Grzelcyk would score one of the most depressing goals in NHL history to keep St. Louis from doing what Boston did to Vancouver on the road in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
This season closed unlike any other in NHL history. The St. Louis Blues were a lowly 15-18-4 and sitting in last place in the Western Conference on January 1st. For the final 44 games of the season, St. Louis would set the league ablaze with a mesmerizing 30-10-4 record to qualify for the playoffs, which would culminate in their first ever Stanley Cup. Ryan O’Reilly was named the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. He totaled 21 points throughout the playoffs with seven goals and 14 assists. He also had a six-game point streak in the Cup Final. The one guy you have to feel awful for is David Backes. The former Blues’ captain of six years had to watch St. Louis celebrate in front of him while he joined his Boston teammates in shock and disappointment. But tonight is not about Backes. It is all about the St. Louis Blues and you cannot name a more deserving champion than them after the toils and troubles throughout the early part of the season.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues and the entire city of St. Louis on their first Stanley Cup Championship!
There are no two better words than Game 7 and what better way can the NHL close out the 2018-19 season than with a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals taking place at one of the most passionate sports cities in the world, Boston, Massachusetts. Boston loves their hockey and they adore their Bruins. The TD Garden will be rocking tonight as the heart and soul of the city, David Ortiz will be delivering a message before the start of the game. Ortiz is currently recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in the Dominican Republic. You can only imagine the plethora of emotions that will be going through Boston fans when that message gets delivered. It is rumored that former Bruins’ goalkeeper, champion, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Tim Thomas will be waving the Bruins’ banner prior to puck drop. Tuukka Rask is the man to watch for Boston as he is 8-0 with a goal against average of under one in elimination games through this postseason. Charlie Coyle would also be a great story if he can contribute to a Bruins’ Cup win tonight as he has been highlighted as the hometown hero for Boston. Boston can also be the first city to complete the American treble of championships in a year since Detroit way back in 1936. Good luck to the Boston Bruins.
The St. Louis Blues are looking to cap off one of the greatest redemption stories in sports history with their first-ever Stanley Cup title tonight. The Blues were dead last in the NHL on January 1st of this year and teammates were fighting in practice. In one of the wildest turnarounds that I have ever witnessed, they qualified for the playoffs and eliminated the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, and San Jose Sharks. Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Binnington should be favorites to win the Conn Smythe if the Blues steal the cup in Boston tonight. The St. Louis faithful are ready to scream out their battle cry “Gloria” for 24 hours if they can claim their first title. Superfan, Laila Anderson is the feel-good story of this series and she will be the source of inspiration for the team as she will be in the TD Garden in hopes that she will join the team in celebrating a championship. Good luck to the St. Louis Blues.
This is the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup history. The Boston Bruins were involved in the most recent one back in 2011. Playoff hockey is already the best form of playoffs in sports and the energy brought on for a Game 7 is unprecedented. With this game being in Boston and with David Ortiz and Tim Thomas set to make appearances, the atmosphere will be on a scale hitherto undreamt of as the great doctor Steven Strange once said in a movie. You can watch the game on NBC at the top of the hour. Will it be seven Cups for the Bruins or will the Blues claim their first? It all happens in a few minutes. LET’S GO!!!
The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins and if you are a hardcore hockey fan, then you most likely already know who you will be cheering for. For the casual hockey fan or for the sports fans just looking to watch a championship battle, how do they know who to cheer for to win this year’s Stanley Cup? Should they cheer for a team that has never won a Stanley Cup and has not been in this position since 1970 when they lost to Boston or should they cheer for a team with a prestigious history and get behind a city that is looking to be only the 2nd city to ever win three major league championships in the same year? Let me breakdown the reasons to get behind either the Blues or the Bruins.
Cheer for the St. Louis Blues
The city of St. Louis lost its beloved Rams in 2016 and have been struggling as a sports town ever since. The Cardinals are now the only champions in town, but they have not won a World Series in 2011 and have not reached the playoffs since 2015. The Blues have been to known for decades to be failures in the playoffs as they have put up solid regular seasons only to come up short of their expectations every year. Now, it is their time to make up for the loss of the Rams and bring the city back to sports glory if they can take out the goliaths of Boston. For journalists, there would be no better story to tell than the Blues finally capturing the title that has evaded them on three occasions when they first entered the league. It is easy to get behind this franchise due to their shortcomings and the city’s loss of sporting greatness. Learn when to belt out “Let’s Go Blues” and the lyrics to Laura Branigan’s ’80s classic, “Gloria” and you will be set to cheer on St. Louis to their first Stanley Cup title.
Cheer for the Boston Bruins
Boston is the most hated town in sports and it is not even close but who would not want to hop on the bandwagon of the most successful sports city in American history? The six-time Stanley Cup champions return to their first finals since 2011 when they beat Vancouver and have been the most dominant team in this year’s playoffs. If you are a fan of heel personalities, then Brad Marchand is the perfect guy to get behind. There is also some history on the line as the Bruins will look to cap off the American version of a domestic treble if they win the cup. Boston would only be the second city in United States’ history to win three of the four major professional league championships with the other city being Detroit, who did it all the way back in 1935-1936. So why not get behind the favorites to win it all and “Titletown”?
Whoever wins, one thing we do know is that it will be another exciting matchup with two energetic fanbases who will be cheering from puck-drop to final horn for all potential seven games. The NHL has the best playoffs in my opinion, so even though your team may not be competing for a title, your eyes should still be locked on each game for 60 minutes.