Updated: Jun 15, 2019
After eight months and over 100 games, the NHL season has one game left, but it's one for all the marbles. Late in the evening tonight, I believe it'll be Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hoisting the holy grail about 14 feet into the air, Gary Bettman scrambling to get out from underneath it, with Z excitedly mumbling something or other with that broken jaw of his.
Boston's advantages are obvious. They've got the home crowd, plus all the experience and momentum. I also think the Blues have finally found a level of adversity this season they won't be able to shake - the regret and disappointment of not grabbing the ring in Game 6.
Think of that head space. In Game 6, you knew as an organization you've never won a Stanley Cup. None of your players have ever won a Stanley Cup. You've been around since 1967 so you're tied with Toronto for the longest Cup drought. Your fans packed the joint, inside and out. They wanted this so badly and here was your opportunity. You were at home and you had to win that game. But the weight of the excitement, expectation, not wanting to let anyone down was perhaps too much for the Blues that night. They failed. They missed it. In fact, they got thumped 5-1.
So where's your head now? You let Boston up off the canvas. You're going to Boston now for game 7. Lying in your rear view mirror is this wonderful opportunity, squashed and lying in the ditch. You had the Bruins down, and you couldn't get it done. You were about to grab the ring and the Bruins knocked it away. Shaking off that level of regret will be the hardest thing the Blues have done all season by far.
They've proven people wrong all season, and may yet again, so I hate writing them off like this. Remember that this was a team that was dead last overall on January 3rd. They were actually trailing the floundering Ottawa Senators on that day but they've done since is win. Their resiliency was even tested earlier in this series. Boston won Game Two 7-2 for a 2-1 series lead. St. Louis didn't check out mentally that night. All they did was say, 'screw it,' and win the next two games.
So it feels wrong somehow to be writing them off. But I feel like this moment is different. In Game 6 the Cup was in the building, probably out of the case and getting polished by that guy with the white gloves and 1978 haircut. I think that's a unique disappointment that they'll have a brutally hard time getting past.
I'm absolutely taking Boston in Game Seven. The Blues are in a bad place while the Bruins, again, have the momentum, the home crowd, the experience.
I do feel for Blues and Bruins fans. I mean, if my team (the Senators) are in a Game 7, I hate every second of it. It's like a kind of torture, because I'm living and dying with every bounce of the puck, every battle, every shift. Of course, I wouldn't be anywhere else. But I ask myself, when my team is going through it, am I being entertained here or am I physically harming myself? Because I'm just so stressed through the entire thing. But, as a neutral observer for this one, I can just sit back and enjoy. This is the game every kid dreamed of. It's the game we all dreamed of but never got the chance to live.
And you know what? In a game 7 that's literally for all the marbles, I say bring on a little overtime, maybe Bobby Orr style.