The St. Louis Blues are going to the Stanley Cup Final.
St. Louis punched their ticket Tuesday, snagging a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game Six. They’ll face the Boston Bruins for hockey’s ultimate prize.
The last time the Blues found themselves in the Stanley Cup Final, it was 1970. Back then, they also faced the Bruins. It was the third straight Final berth for St. Louis, while the Bruins were taking their first shot at it since 1958. Boston went on to sweep the series and win the Cup, their first in 29 years. Bobby Orr scored the winning goal in overtime of Game Four, leading to one of the most iconic hockey images of all-time.
Things are different this time around, as the Blues are in the Stanley Cup Final thanks to one of the biggest comeback seasons imaginable.
On January 3 of 2019, St. Louis sat in last place in the National Hockey League and didn’t have a prayer. Fast-forward just a few months and they’re going all the way, with a new coach in the November-hired Craig Berube and a starting goalie in Jordan Binnington.
And this edition of the Blues dominated the Sharks in the Western Conference Final, pushing San Jose to the brink of elimination with a 5-0 win on Sunday and shutting the series down altogether Tuesday. They outscored the Sharks 23-15 in the series, including 10-1 in the last two games.
Injuries played a big part in San Jose’s downfall, in fairness. On Sunday, they lost Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson and had to make do without key players Tuesday. Goalie Martin Jones wasn’t up to the task in Game Six, either, as he let in a few he should’ve had.
The Blues, 28-8-5 in the season’s second half, are now four wins away from raising the Stanley Cup. They’ve got the Bruins ahead and that’s no easy feat, but they’ve already knocked out the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks to weave one improbable yarn.
Game One of the Stanley Cup Final goes down Monday in Boston.
(Photo credit: Associated Press)