An electric atmosphere set the tone for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, following a rousing rendition of the national anthem from Todd Angilly and the Boston Bruins matched that energy to start this one. The Bruins came out firing on all cylinders early in the first period. They were getting pucks on net and even got an early power play that sent Colton Parayko to the box. Shot after shot, nothing was getting by rookie goaltender, Jordan Binnington. Binnington held down the fort for the St. Louis Blues the entire period and were able to get a huge penalty kill, which turned into two late goals from Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo. O’Reilly’s goal came from a great forecheck and led to shot from the point from Jay Bouwmeester that deflected off of O’Reilly’s stick and past Tuukka Rask. With seconds left in the opening period, Jaden Schwartz was able to get by poor defending from Brad Marchand, leading to a great pass to Alex Pietrangelo and a backhanded wrist shot by Rask to make it 2-0 Blues right before intermission. Boston outshot St. Louis 12 to 4 in the first period with nothing to show for it.
The second period did not see much action as the Blues took their foot off the pedal slightly and were not getting the attacks they had late in the first period. Rask, with help from Zdeno Chara, were able to keep a puck out of the net that went behind Rask, bounced off the crossbar, and landed behind him before being frozen. Boston had looks but they were not great ones and Binnington was able to make some simple saves. The Blues were now 20 minutes away from their first ever Stanley Cup championship but one can only believe what a terrible predicament this must be for the St. Louis faithful as their beloved Blues are notorious for blowing games.
We will remember the name, Jordan Binnington after tonight because the rookie put on one of the greatest Stanley Cup Final performances of all-time and it was capped by an immaculate pad save from a Joakim Nordstrom shot from point-blank range. After the save, that was all she wrote as minutes later, Brayden Schenn would give St. Louis a 3-0 lead with under ten minutes to go. Zach Sanford would add more insult to injury for the Bruins with a fourth goal. In garbage time, Matt Grzelcyk would score one of the most depressing goals in NHL history to keep St. Louis from doing what Boston did to Vancouver on the road in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
This season closed unlike any other in NHL history. The St. Louis Blues were a lowly 15-18-4 and sitting in last place in the Western Conference on January 1st. For the final 44 games of the season, St. Louis would set the league ablaze with a mesmerizing 30-10-4 record to qualify for the playoffs, which would culminate in their first ever Stanley Cup. Ryan O’Reilly was named the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. He totaled 21 points throughout the playoffs with seven goals and 14 assists. He also had a six-game point streak in the Cup Final. The one guy you have to feel awful for is David Backes. The former Blues’ captain of six years had to watch St. Louis celebrate in front of him while he joined his Boston teammates in shock and disappointment. But tonight is not about Backes. It is all about the St. Louis Blues and you cannot name a more deserving champion than them after the toils and troubles throughout the early part of the season.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues and the entire city of St. Louis on their first Stanley Cup Championship!