Stanley Cup: O'Reilly Pops a Pair as Blues Knot Series
It was the trade of the NHL's off-season.
The St Louis Blues sent a couple of key players, a rookie with potential, and a first- and second-round pick to Buffalo for one Ryan O'Reilly.
If that didn't tell the 28-year-old Ontario native who'd craved more playoff hockey that he'd gotten in Colorado or with the Sabres that it was on him to fulfill his wish, nothing did.
Frankly, now that he'd been a part of the ultimate Stanley Cup run, O'Reilly woulda been the first to admit that his impact wasn't quite what he or the Blues expected.
Yes, he'd done the detail work that's make him a Selke nominee, but the way this clash with Boston was going, St Louis needed more justification for that trade.
It was time for O'Reilly to put that legendary stick to work.
It didn't take long to get results, either. Like 43 seconds into the game.
The likely scenario would be to go with seven defensemen, but that's not all Cassidy has to sort out. The Bruins' second line needs a jump start, and soon.
Stat geeks are already starting to think the numbers now indicate St Louis has assumed the favorite's role.
Maybe so, but that'd mean they've found their style without overdoing it.
However, if O'Reilly has really and truly stepped up, the Blues' margin of error will have widened considerably.