St. Louis hoists first Stanley Cup
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/13/19, 11:00 am
The St. Louis Blues earned their first NHL championship in franchise history Wednesday, defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Forward Ryan O’Reilly, who is in his first season with the Blues, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.
It was a remarkable turnaround for a team that was in last place in the NHL standings in early January, but the Blues finished the season winning 30 of their last 49 games. “Once we pulled it together, we were tough to beat,” coach Craig Berube said.
The Blues joined the NHL in 1967. The team made the Stanley Cup Finals in three of its first five years of existence, only to be swept in four games every time, including by the Bruins in 1970.
After failing to clinch the title in Game 6 Sunday on their home ice, the Blues drew first blood late in the first period in Boston Wednesday when O’Reilly deflected a shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. It was his fourth consecutive game with a goal, and Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo added another goal with seconds left in the period. Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford scored the Blues’ third and fourth goals. Rookie goalie Jordan Binnington held off the Bruins with 32 saves, giving up a shutout with about two minutes left and the game out of reach.
The St. Louis victory denied Boston its third sports championship of the past year. The Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots won the World Series and Super Bowl, respectively.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.