By Patrick Hoffman
It was a long time coming, St. Louis. You've had a great hockey franchise in your city that had never won a Stanley Cup despite being one of the league's most consistent clubs for a very long time.
That all changed on June 12 when the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-1 in Game 7 of the Cup Final in Boston. Going into the game, I honestly thought that the Bruins' depth, offense, and experience would carry them to a Game 7 victory, but boy was I wrong.
For starters, Blues' netminder Jordan Binnington was outstanding in this hockey game. After not playing well in Game 6, he once again showed why he was the best bounce back players in these playoffs as he went out and stopped 32 of 33 shots in leading the Blues to their first Cup in franchise history.
Binnington, 25, was especially good in the first period. While his teammates scored two goals on four shots, he was busy stopping all 12 shots he faced in doing his part to give his team a chance to win hockey's Holy Grail.
Another member of the Blues that deserves a lot of credit is Conn Smythe winner Ryan O'Reilly. He scored the game's first goal and added assist on another to give him 23 points in the postseason.
Game after game in these playoffs, O'Reilly did everything he needed to do to help his team win. He scored big goals, made big plays at key times, played well on both sides of the puck, and played the game the right way all playoffs long.
Someone else on the Blues that deserves a lot of praise is defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. He scored a beautiful goal with eight seconds to go in the first period to give his team a 2-0 lead and also picked-up an assist as he finished the playoffs with 19 points.
Something like this was a long time coming for the team's captain. Pietrangelo, 29, has spent his entire career with the Blues and has done everything and more for this franchise. It was nice to finally see him rewarded for his efforts.
I am absolutely ecstatic for the Blues and their fans. As someone who grew up a New York Rangers' fan, I saw them end their 54-yer Cup drought in 1994 as an 11-year-old and was overcome with such emotion when it happened.
I can only imagine what it feels like for Blues' fans at this moment. This is a franchise that had NEVER won a Cup until now so they must be over the moon right now.
I am so happy for the Blues and their fans. I hope they can enjoy this moment for a very long time because it is certainly more than well deserved.
Congrats to the St. Louis Blues! You did it!
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.