This was possibly the least fun I’ve had watching the Stanley Cup Final since that one time the San Jose Sharks lost in it. This wasn’t the result any of us wanted after the series the Sharks endured against the St. Louis Blues, I’m sure. Anyway, here’s what happened. I’m sorry you have to read this.
The series returned to St. Louis and the Blues came out on top. Ryan O’Reilly opened up scoring early in the first. Charlie Coyle responded for the Boston Bruins, but it wasn’t long until Vladimir Tarasenko regained the lead. Brandon Carlo came back in the second to tie it up again for Boston. The third saw two more goals for St. Louis, tying the series up 2-2.
This game was absolute madness. Between a few head shots and a trip going uncalled that lead to a Blues goal, this one was frustrating. Ryan O’Reilly had yet another early goal. David Perron scored the second goal of the game, just after an ugly trip sent Boston’s Noel Acciari down. He did not return to the ice. Jake DeBrusk attempted to revive his squad, but the final score sat at 2-1.
Ivan Barbashev made an ugly illegal hit to Marcus Johansson’s head that went uncalled during the game but resulted in a Game 6 suspension. He was the second Blues player to be suspended this series alone.
The Bruins went back to St. Louis but didn’t give the home crowd much to cheer for. The 5-1 victory was a full Bruins revival. They scored fast and often. Brad Marchand, Brandon Carlo, David Pastrnak and Zedno Chara all found the back of the net for the B’s. Ryan O’Reilly — of course — was the only Blues player to score. Jordan Binnington, who had been great in net for the Blues all playoffs, stayed in net for the full game this time, with a save percentage of .871. The Bruins forced a Game 7 at home.
The Blues and their fans should be giving thanks to Jordan Binnington. The Bruins came out hot, putting several shots on net and getting great looks. Though they put very few shots on net, the Blues got lucky with two first period goals. The first from O’Reilly, the second from Alex Pietrangelo.
The second period went scoreless, though Boston looked desperate. Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford put two more goals past Tuuka Rask in the third period to seal the deal. It was fitting Matt Grzelcyk found the net for the lone B’s goal, given that he missed a chunk of the series after being taken into the boards.
Binnington finished his first Stanley Cup Playoff run with a .970 save percentage. He was the glue that held the team together so they thanked him by giving the Conn Smythe trophy to ... Ryan O’Reilly? Sure, he deserved it too, I guess; but Binnington was the storyline all along.
Here we are, finally at the end of the 2018-19 season. I’m sure this is the ending none of us expected. The St. Louis Blues were at the bottom of the standings for awhile. Bringing Jordan Binnington up gave them the boost they needed to make a playoff push. Somehow, the finished with a cup. Sure, they went headhunting across each playoff round the played, but who’s counting?
This is St. Louis’ first cup, making the Sharks’ company in the “no cup” department even smaller. This season didn’t shape up the way we wanted or expected it to, but there’s only up from here, right? Even though the season ended three weeks ago, the Sharks have one small victory: Logan Couture still led the 2019 playoffs with 14 goals. Suck it, O’Reilly.
Congrats to the Blues, I guess. Is it October yet?