Blues Take the Win outta -nipeg
Talk about a Happy New Year ...
There the St Louis Blues were, official tail-draggers of the NHL as of New Year's Eve, dead last in the standings .
With nothing really to lose, dudes figured they'd put Jordan Binnington between the pipes for an actual start. Except for a couple of call-up to start games due to goalie injury, he'd been wallowing around in their farm system ever since they drafted him in 2011.
St Louis native and local sports supporter Jon Hamm oughta know.
The Blues got hot. And stayed hot.
- Vladimir Tarasenko rediscovered his scoring touch,
- Ryan O’Reilly became the center who got everyone involved, and
- Jay Bouwmeester became an effective blueliner again.
No NHL club finished the 2019 portion of this season with a better record: 30-10-5.
So far, the Blues have taken that scorchiness into the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Winnipeg Jets -- legitimate Cup contenders before the first springtime puck dropped -- have noticed.
St Louis took their act to Manitoba and have now come away with a 2-0 first-round lead:
If any fan base knows to take this time of year a game at a time, it's Blues Nation.
St Louis was the first-wave expansion team to make the Stanley Cup finals back in 1968, 1969, and 1970, mainly because the league crammed all six newbies into their own division. Their only claim to fame in that regard was getting posterized by Bobby Orr in '70:
As if the expasion Blues ever had a chance. The reality is Boston won the Cup when they swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the semi-finals.
St Louis has been close a few times, but they've never returned.
Dudes still have to contend with an angry Jets contingent, and it's still only the first round, but they're showing the confidence of a favorite. And it's still 2019.