ST. LOUIS SINGING THE STANLEY CUP BLUES
It took a full six games for the St. Louis Blues professional Ice Hockey team to defeat the stubborn San Jose Sharks and advance to the NHL finals where they will face the legendary Boston Bruins, who have been practically perennial contenders for the Stanley Cup title for the past 20 years or so.
Although most of us were not aware that St. Louis even had an ice hockey team way back in 1970. That was the last time that the Blues participated in the Stanley Cup Finals, after 3 consecutive appearances there, only to be denied by these same Boston Bruins they will be facing on May 27.
The seven game series for the coveted Stanley Cup begins on May 27th at TD Garden in Boston when Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and team captain Zdeno Chara will lead the Boston NHL franchise to its fourth professional ice hockey finals in as many years. The Bruins last won the Stanley Cup back in 2011, it was their sixth NHL Championship in franchise history.
The St. Louis Blues team has a roster made up predominantly of Canadian hockey players. Not all, but most, of their star players are from north of the border. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, where else would one go to find ice hockey players. Head Coach Craig Berube and team captain Alex Pietrangelo have taken the Blues from a terrible beginning to the season to a team scoring 99 goals in 2019 and landing in the NHL Finals.
Blues fans in St. Louis are true-blue and loyal as ever, but perhaps not as optimistic as they could be taking into consideration the amount of disillusionment and heartbreak these fans have know in recent years as their cherished Blues struggled its way to the top of the NHL hierarchy.
In fact, they didn’t start up the “We want the Cup!” cheer until the Blues had a solid 3 goal lead on the San Jose Sharks in game six of the playoffs. Such was the faith, but the fans have come around now and are all in for a run at the Stanley Cup.
As one longtime Blues season ticket holder told reporters, “I’m feeling excitement. This is as close as we’ve come in the last 50 years”. Then he added, “And it’s possible. This is a hell of a good team. It’s solid. Four lines. Great goaltending. Team defense. We could do this!”
But on January 1 this year the St. Louis Blues were tied with the Ottawa Senators for the fewest points in the NHL at 34 each. Hardly reason for optimism for diehard Blues fans. One couple, who back in 2014 had postponed their honeymoon to follow their team for a playoff run, only to see St. Louis eliminated in the first round by the Blackhawks.
This same guy was in Vegas back in January when the Blues were listed at 100 to 1 to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. For reasons known only to true-heart sports fans with unwavering, inexplicable, loyalty to their team, he put down $25 on St. Louis to win the Stanley Cup.
That little bet ‘on faith’ is looking pretty damned good right now! It’s looking to be a close series. Las Vegas oddsmakers are posting moneyline odds of +135 for the Blues and -155 for the Bruins. That’s practically a push!
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