They did it on the road, of course.
The St. Louis Blues won their first-ever Stanley Cup Wednesday night, winning Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the host Boston Bruins 4-1.
With the victory, the Blues became the first team to win the Stanley Cup with a losing record at home during the postseason. In fact, three of the team’s four wins against the Bruins were in Boston. The Blues had a chance to win the title at home in Game 6 but fell 5-1.
After 52 years, St. Louis can finally call itself Stanley Cup champions.
If you looked at the stats of Game 7 other than the score, you might have thought the Bruins had won in a runaway. Boston outshot St. Louis 33-20 and spent much of the first and second periods in the Blues’ zone, getting multiple scoring opportunities.
But goaltender Jordan Binnington — who set a rookie record with his 16th postseason victory Wednesday night — was up to the task time and time again. He finished with 32 saves, thwarting the Bruins at nearly every turn.
St. Louis’ offense didn’t look like it had much, until all of a sudden, it did. Ryan O’Reilly deflected a shot by Jay Bouwmeester with under four minutes to go in the first period, and it got by Boston goalie Tuukka Rask to put the Blues on top 1-0.
The goal was O’Reilly’s fifth in four games, and he was eventually named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. O’Reilly became the first player since Wayne Gretzky to score in four consecutive Stanley Cup Final games.
St. Louis added to its lead just before the end of the first period, when Alex Pietrangelo got the puck past Rask with just eight seconds to play to make it 2-0.
After a scoreless second period, St. Louis was mostly playing defense, keeping Boston from making a push and gaining some momentum from the home fans.
But midway through the third, Brayden Schenn all but ended any doubt about who would be hoisting the Cup by scoring his fifth goal of the postseason, off an assist from Vladimir Tarasenko, to make it 3-0.
Zach Sanford got into the act as well, tallying his first goal of the postseason, with just under five minutes to go to make it 4-0.
Boston finally got on the board with Matt Grzelcyk’s goal with 2:10 to play, but at that point, it didn’t really matter.
Long Road Back
The team that was in last place in the NHL standings in early January completed its historic run with a Game 7 victory on the road. The Blues won 30 of their final 49 regular-season games and trailed in each of their last three playoff series before rallying for victories.
Craig Berube took over as coach in November after Mike Yeo was fired and became the fourth coach in the last 11 years to be hired during the regular season and lead his team to the Stanley Cup.
The win was especially sweet for Bouwmeester, who had played in 1,184 regular-season games without being on a Stanley Cup-winning team, the third-most among active players before Wednesday night.
Of course, he fit in just perfectly on the Blues, who had gone 52 years without winning a Stanley Cup and hadn’t even won a Stanley Cup Final game until this season.