Relive the magic of the Blues’ Stanley Cup run

The+Blues+Stanley+Cup+win+brought+the+players+and+fans+together+in+a+truly+magical+moment.+

Morgan Hooker

The Blues Stanley Cup win brought the players and fans together in a truly magical moment.

*Opinion

As of February the St. Louis Blues sit at second place in the central division with a record of 26-13-5 and are finding success with a well constructed offensive attack and solid goaltending. But nothing will top their glory from the 2018-2019 season when the Blues finally won the Stanley Cup for the first time. This was the crowning achievement for the entire franchise, especially after coming from dead last in the league heading into the second-half of the season. Their triumph wouldn’t have been possible without the signings and moves made by the Blues’s front office.

On July 2, 2018, the Blues acquired Ryan O’Reilly (center) from the Buffalo Sabres, which was followed by a series of signings. This added ammunition to an already loaded roster by bringing in Tyler Bozak (center), David Perron (right winger) and St. Louis native Patrick Maroon (left winger). Many fans didn’t know it yet, but these four players would all play pivotal roles on this team’s journey toward Lord Stanley. 

“[Perron, Bozak, Maroon and O’Reilly] were crazy strong players,” Terri Waggle, junior, said. “Without them we definitely [wouldn’t have won] the Stanley Cup, so the moves made were smart and good ones.”

 

Waggle said this was the season she began watching hockey and eventually fell in love with the physicality of the sport. Talking to her friends about the games was one of the best parts about being a fan in Waggle’s opinion because it gave her something to look forward to.

“Being involved in watching a sport was a new experience for me,” Waggle said. “It got to the point where I was looking forward to the games, knowing that [I had] to sit down at a certain time to watch.”

Although fans like Waggle were still watching and staying invested, the St. Louis Blues got off to a very rough start that season with a record of 15-18-4, which was, at the time, the worst in the entire NHL. Mike Yeo was fired as head coach, which then led to Craig Berube taking his place as the interim head coach. Soon after that, Jordan Binnington (goaltender) was called up from the AHL to join the Blues, and in his first NHL start he shut out the Philadelphia Flyers. That performance must have flipped a switch, as the Blues went on a run to finish the regular season with a record of 30-10-5 and clinch a playoff berth. 

“Usually, I’m on the bus by now, having a beer and waiting for everyone else. This is cutting into my beer time.” ”

— Craig Berube

 

“Half the game is a mental battle and it took a push from Berube to get us over that hump,” Griffin Young, senior, said. “Once we did that, [St. Louis] had the confidence to beat any team in the league, and they showed that in the second half of the season.”

Young plays as the captain for the Kirkwood Pioneer hockey team and comes from a family of sports fans. Young said becoming a Blues fan wasn’t hard, especially since he started playing hockey in fourth grade.

“Before I started playing hockey I went to the games with mostly basic knowledge of the sport,” Young said. “Once I started playing, I was able to catch on to things going on in-game that normal fans wouldn’t see like a player going on the forecheck or a coach meeting and it made for a more enjoyable experience.”  

An enjoyable ride perfectly describes the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the St. Louis Blues. After going through the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks in very competitive rounds, St. Louis reached the Stanley Cup Final and faced off with the Boston Bruins in a rematch of their Stanley Cup Final clash in 1970. Both teams traded blows throughout the series as the Bruins began with a 2-1 lead. The Blues responded by taking a 3-2 lead after winning games four and five. In game six Boston destroyed the Blues on the road, to force a game seven.

“[St. Louis] showed real valor throughout the playoffs,” Rappaport said. “They played their hearts out on the ice, avoided injuries and never committed dumb penalties which really put them in a great position to win.”

In the biggest contest in the franchise’s history, St. Louis beat Boston in game seven by a final score of 4-1 thanks to timely goals from Alex Pietrangelo and Ryan O’Reilly along with a stellar performance by Jordan Binnington in the net. St. Louis had finally reached the mountaintop after 52 years in the NHL. Abe Rappaport, sophomore, said he believes this moment won’t be topped in St. Louis sports history.

“This fanbase is the best in the entire NHL,” Rappaport said. “No matter how difficult the road to the top was, everyone all wanted the same thing and that was the Blues to win that Cup. That commonality brought everyone together and it was an amazing thing to see.”