Game Seven is coming and with it the requisite stories of overcoming adversity and living up to expectations and all the rest. And while the matchup between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues may not be the most thrilling on paper, the end result has been a hard-fought series between two titans.
The Blues are the classic comeback kids and they will hope to weave one of the most remarkable stories in hockey history. They could become the first team in the NHL to win the Stanley Cup after placing dead last after at least 30 games. Back on January 3, when the world was younger and colder, St. Louis wasn’t thinking about playing “Gloria” at all. They were 31st.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Blues forward Pat Maroon said. “Every time in the playoffs we have that adversity or another challenge, we just tell ourselves we were in a worse situation at the beginning of the year than we are now, so accept it and let’s go out and play our game.”
Going out and playing “our game” is one of those hockey clichés, but in the case of the Blues there’s little else you can say. They had the chance to put this series away at home in Game Six and now they’ll have to put up or shut it down for another year.
And if we’re being honest: when the Blues have lost in these playoffs to the Bruins, they have lost.
Boston has outscored St. Louis 21-14 through six games. There’ve been two blowouts, including a 7-2 Game Three and a 5-1 Game Six.
But here’s the thing: after each blowout, not only against the Bruins but against the rest of the playoff squads, the Blues just don’t seem to lose. Goalie Jordan Binnington has a special knack for bouncing back, going 7-2 after a loss in this post-season.
Plus, St. Louis is lethal on the road. They’re 9-3 on the road in these playoffs, so Boston’s home ice advantage may not actually be that advantageous. And, just because, the Blues are 5-0 on the road after a loss.
And really, each time the Blues have been counted out in the playoffs they’ve come back for a big win. What bigger win could there be than Game Seven in front of the Bruins’ faithful?
Of course, numbers can only take you so far and the Bruins have an awful lot of momentum and strength going into Game Seven. The barn will be rocking and Boston’s one of the toughest teams in the NHL to put away. But if anyone can do it, it’s the real comeback kids.
(Photo credit: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)