Bleed Blue: The St. Louis Blues Win the Stanley Cup
Hey, St. Louis, There will be a championship parade in the city. On June 12, the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 to capture their first Stanley Cup. This championship win is seen as unprecedented. The Blues were seen as an underdog throughout the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs. Not only this is the Blues’ first championship, but it is the first championship brought to St. Louis since 2011. Ryan O’Reilly, who was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres, won the MVP award.
After the Rams left a few years ago, the St. Louis sports scene was fractured. Now, the Blues have brought new hope. Not many people have extensive knowledge about the Blues. This article will serve as a guide of the Blues’ march to glory.
The Blues began their journey in 1967. They were one of the six new franchises added to the NHL. Before their Stanley Cup victory, they were the oldest franchise not to have won a title. The Blues had plenty of opportunities. They went to three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals from 1968-1970. Despite numerous playoff berths, the Blues failed to reach the finals for 49 years.
“Golden Era” and Decline
From 1980 to 2004, the Blues made the playoffs. That streak was the third longest in North American sports. Also, the Blues were the only team to make it to the playoffs in every year in the 1990s. The Blues were home to legendary players such as Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Chris Pronger, Keith Tkachuk, and Al MacInnis. Hull and MacInnis are two of the three players in statues in front of the Enterprise Center. However, after several personal changes, the Blues experienced a terrible run from 2005-2010, posted some of their worst records in franchise history.
Rebuilding Into Contenders
Starting in 2011, the Blues experienced a return to prominence. In the 2011-2012 season, the Blues became the first team reach 100 points and made the playoffs for the first time in a few years. They would break the 100 point mark again in the 2013-2014 season. The Blues also were the Central Division Champions in 2012 and 2014. However, they could not get over the hump in the playoffs. They again failed to end their Stanley Cup drought. The Blues fired their coach in 2016, hoping for a change. But, during their playoff run from 2016-2018, they were eliminated before reaching the finals.
The Blues started the 2018-2019 season in shambles. They had seven wins, nine losses, and three ties (7-9-3). In November, they fired coach Mike Yeo and replaced him with interim coach Craig Berube. With Berube in charge, the Blues went 38-19-8 and earned a playoff berth, entering as the third seed.
The Blues faced the Winnepeg Jets in the first round. The Jets finished above the Blues in the Central Division but the Blues managed to eliminate them in six games. Then, the Blues faced the Dallas Stars and eliminated them in seven games. Then, the Blues faced San Jose Sharks, who were the better team overall. The Blues eliminated them in six games, including winning three in a row. Finally, the Blues broke through and made it to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1970, defeating the Bruins in seven games.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues! Thank you for bringing hope to St. Louis!