Stanley Cup: Blues Buzz-Bomb Bruins, Grab Game 2 in OT
After 13 games in the Stanley Cup final, the St Louis Blues finally picked up a victory.
Maybe it took overtime to claim it in their 14th try, but as crucial as this one was to their chances of finally hoisting the hardware, that fact was definitely an afterthought.
Because this is the first Stanley Cup final that the Blues actually have a shot at winning.
At their best, the Blues play like a freight train running down the tracks. In Game 1, they were more like a runaway train, doing their brawny thing but only outta control, taking over-agressive penalties and preferring power over puck control.
Turnovers were frequent.
The Swede got rung up, and Grzelcyk didn't return, but octogenarian and Old School proponent thought that the call was as harsh as the hit:
Don Cherry says that Matt Grzelcyk was “asking for it” when he got hit from behind by Oskar Sundqvist pic.twitter.com/ecv1YFjdQm— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) May 30, 2019
Frankly, OG had a point. It did appear that Grzelcyk ducked, but in these concussion-wary times, odds are the final verdict won't be kind to Sundqvist.
Other than that hiccup, the Blues' red-line energy level served them well as they evened the series with a 3-2 victory 49 years in the making:
Interesting that the game-winner was the only goal scored after Sundqvist's penalty.
Also notable that the Blues have now neutralized Boston's top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrňák to the point that only the Czech winger is standing out. Unfortunately for the Bruins, it's been during the breaks:
Even Henny Youngman woulda flinched at that one.
As the series shifts to St Louis, it's already clear that venue isn't gonna be a key factor. More important will be whether the Blues can keep up their highly-charged intensity pace while keeping Boston's big line in check.
Of course, getting pucks past Tuuka Rask will continue to be a challenge. So far, so good after two games, but Jordan Billington matching him save-for-save in a grinding series already looks like a tough ask.
But tough is what the Stanley Cup final's all about.
Who's better at keeping a handle on it will be the difference.