Just like I didn't predict, the St. Louis Blues are the 2019 Stanley cup champions. They nailed down the title with a strong 4-1 win in Boston in Game 7. Yes, I'm talking about the club that:
had never won the cup in their 52 year history
had zero players who’d ever won a Stanley Cup ring before
that fired their head coach in November
that in January stood dead last overall in the NHL
that back in training camp, put their star goalie Jordan Binnington on waivers long before they had any idea what he could turn into
that was down 3-2 in their 2nd round with Dallas before rallying to win Game 6, then Game 7 in double overtime.
Ryan O Reilly was your playoff MVP. He dropped a beautiful F bomb on the CBC’s Scott Oake, then like a Good Canadian apologized a million times for it. He was brilliant all spring and great again in Game 7, opening the scoring with a beautiful tip in. A worthy Conn Smythe winner. What a deal that was for the Blues. Buffalo traded O Reilly for Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund. Thompson and Sobotka combined for 25pts this season and Berglund walked away from hockey. Yikes.
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington could easily have won the Conn Smythe as well. What a story he was. Rookie of the year candidate, probably the biggest reason the Blues turned their season around. Remarkably, they put Binnington on waivers in September. If just one of the other 30 teams had picked him up, the Blues wouldn’t be here. No chance.
Both the Blues and Bruins showed up to play in Game 7 but the Blues got the bounce they needed to take the crowd out of it. Then came a grave, grave error by Brad Marchand.
Marchand is last man back, wants to get off the ice and lets the blues charge through the neutral zone. He realizes he can’t change, then makes a fatigued attempt at a body check at the blue line. He misses badly. Then, as the Blues roar into the zone, Marchand wanders off for a change while the Blues go in and score. The Bruins couldn't recover, not the way the Blues were playing.
In every way, the Blues earned this Stanley cup. And for those of who really dislike the other blue team, St Louis’ win now leaves Toronto as the team with the longest active Stanley Cup drought at 51 seasons. So plenty of reasons for champagne.