Rodney gives us his thoughts on the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals as a diehard St. Louis Blue fan. Do you like hockey? Don’t miss this quick episode!
Show Notes for 2019 Stanley Cup Finals Podcast
Ryan Knuppel: 00:00 In this episode, Rodney tells us all about the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, and why he’s going to be saying, “Let’s go Blues.”
Ryan Knuppel: 00:09 Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports, talk the same headlines, the same news, and the same boring information. This podcast is there to change all of that. We bring you hot sports takes, winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news, and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business.
Rodney Knuppel: 00:29 Hey guys, this is Rodney from the Knup’s Sports Podcast. Thanks for tuning in, and glad to be back here as we try to bring you some more sports betting and sports talk.
Rodney Knuppel: 00:41 Today’s topic, as you all know, or most of you know, I, and most of the Knup’s sports crew are huge, huge, St. Louis Blues fans. Yes, that’s hockey. The Stanley Cup is coming up with first game coming up on Monday, which is May 27th. So I thought I’d just break down a little bit of the Stanley Cup, and what’s going on, and talk a little bit of betting talk with the Stanley Cup as well as we come into game one, again, coming up Memorial Day Monday.
Rodney Knuppel: 01:12 The Boston Bruins are the favorites. Boston Bruins are minus 150, while the St. Louis Blues are plus 130. There is no betting line yet for game one, we’ll get to that as we get closer. But the Boston Bruins are a little bit of favorite, which Vegas puts them right around about 58% chance of winning, and then of course, St. Louis Blues is about 42 chance percent of winning. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup, in fact, haven’t been to the Stanley Cup since 1970, Boston Bruins have.
Rodney Knuppel: 01:42 So, obviously the Boston sports world has been plenty excited with everything that’s been going on, the Patriots doing really well. The Celtics kind of took a little fall, and then the Red Sox, obviously, defending World Series Champions. So, Boston’s seen their share of champions here lately. If you look at the last few times Boston and St. Louis have met in the postseason in sports, not real good. Not real good. For St. Louis is, Boston’s kind of ran them over here. If you remember twice in, you know, the last 15, 20 years, the Red Sox have demolished the Cardinals, and the Patriots took down the Rams one year in the Super Bowl. So really, within the last 20 years, Boston has completely dominated when it’s come to championships against St. Louis. Hopefully for Blues fans, this one will be different.
Rodney Knuppel: 02:35 Let’s talk a little bit about what has been going on this year. The Bruins finished with the third best record in the National Hockey League. They entered the season with 11 to one odds to win the Stanley Cup, they were near the top. It was kind of coming from the Eastern Conference, and there were several teams in the Eastern Conference that you just knew … you knew they were really good, but you weren’t sure who was the best. Obviously, Boston, we’ll talk about who they beat in the postseason here in a minute. But Boston, they came in 11 to one.
Rodney Knuppel: 03:05 The St. Louis Blues are an interesting story, because they had a great off-season. In fact, many experts say the Blues won the off-season, they won the June, July, August … I guess it’s more like July and August than anything, because the guys start skating again in September. But they were 30 to one on opening night, there was a few people that were, “I think this Blues team’s going to be really good, could compete in the Western Conference.” But most had other teams, including [inaudible 00:03:37] Nashville, including Vegas, Winnipeg, who the Blues beat this postseason, even San Jose.
Rodney Knuppel: 03:44 Then the Blues fell to last place in the entire NHL. I’m sure if you’ve watched any hockey, you have heard this story, fell to very last in all of the National Hockey League, and came in at 250 to one odds. If you are that guy that has the Blues at 250 to one odds, congratulations and good luck this week, and you are looking at a payday if the Blues can find four more wins.
Rodney Knuppel: 04:09 St. Louis started the season around 130 of their last 45, and then knocked off the Jets in six, the Stars in seven, and San Jose in sixth. This is the Blues’ first trip since the championship round back in 1960, 1970, were swept by Boston, and coincidentally, they are tied with Toronto for the longest drought in NHL history of not winning a cup.
Rodney Knuppel: 04:35 So, it kind of gives you a little background on what’s going on with the team’s schedule. Monday, May 27th, is in Boston. Monday, May 27th, is in Boston. That is game one. Game two then is Wednesday, May 29th, that’s again, in Boston. So first two games will be in Boston, then it comes to St. Louis. Now one thing I don’t like about the NHL and Stanley Cup Playoff format now, is they are taking two days off in between, two travel days, to get from Boston to St. Louis, you know, as one, all the way through the postseason.
Rodney Knuppel: 05:09 You know, you would play, you would take a day off, you would play, you would take a day off, you would play. Now we’re going two days off. So game three is on Saturday, game four is on Monday, June 3rd, game five, if needed, will be in Boston … back in Boston, for Thursday, June 6th. Then if there is a game six, that would be back in St. Louis on Sunday, June 9th, and then game seven, the deciding game seven, the last game of the 2018, 2019, season in the National Hockey League will be game seven, Blues at Bruins, Wednesday, June 12th. All hockey fans hope they see that.
Rodney Knuppel: 05:45 All these games are at 7:00 Central Time, 8:00 Eastern Time, as we have a Central team and an East Coast team. Shouldn’t have too many late night games, unless we go to big time overtime, which could happen. Could happen in the NHL Playoffs.
Rodney Knuppel: 06:01 One more thing I kind of wanted to throw out there. The St. Louis Blues have won all three series so far on their home ice. So, if you’re looking for that route, maybe Blues in six. I’ll give you my pick when we sign off here. But if you’re going that route, Blues in six sounds good. St. Louis will host game six, obviously, five and seven are in Boston, so that’s where we’re at with that one.
Rodney Knuppel: 06:27 But the Blues and Bruins, another storyline for the Stanley Cup Finals. The former Captain of the St. Louis Blues, a long time favorite in St. Louis, is David Backes. He now plays for the Bruins, part of that fourth line. It’s kind of funny to see, because both teams have real good fourth lines, which is big in the National Hockey League, obviously, so you don’t have to send out your top dudes all the time, you need a little depth. They both got depth, they both seem to be coming in fairly healthy. You know, obviously, the Boston Bruins are going to have more of a break, but I don’t know if that’s going to play a factor.
Rodney Knuppel: 07:03 I don’t know if the break’s going to play a huge factor and rest. I mean, I guess it could play a factor the other way, in that Boston could be rusty. The last time they played, Thursday, May 16th. So they will have basically 10 days off in between their games. The Blues will have, what? They’ll have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, oh, so they have five days off. So they’re both going to be rested. I mean, the Blues aren’t going to be terribly weary after finishing up game six on Tuesday, and turning around and playing the following Monday. I mean, hockey players have played back-to-back … not back-to-back, but every other night here for the last three, four weeks. So, I don’t see that necessarily being an issue, but it should be interesting to see how the Bruins come back from the long break.
Rodney Knuppel: 07:45 If you’re looking at players to watch, you know, we’ve all seen, for the St. Louis Blues, Jaden Schwartz, two hat-tricks this postseason. Obviously that is a franchise record. Vladimir Tarasenko did score a point in every game of the Western Conference Finals for the Blues. He became the third player in Blues franchise history to score 30 career playoff goals, which joins Brett Hull and Bernie Federko. Alex Pietrangelo, Brayden Schenn, both had big games in game six. Pietrangelo now has the most points by a defenseman in St. Louis Blues history. That beats Al MacInnis. Remember Al MacInnis back in the 1999 season.
Rodney Knuppel: 08:24 Then Jordan Binnington’s been the big story for the St. Louis Blues. The young … he’s 25, but the rookie goaltender for the Blues saved all 10 shots in the third period. They weren’t necessarily high impact, they weren’t necessarily high risk shots. He’s now 12 and seven in the postseason, 2.36 goals allowed. He was a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist. I don’t know if we’re going to win that or not. He became the fifth rookie netminder in NHL history, and first in 32 years to be responsible for each of his first … of his team’s first 12 wins in the playoffs. Patrick [inaudible 00:09:02] was a rookie back in 1986, and he had 15 wins for Montreal. Jordan Binnington, four wins away from possibly doing that.
Rodney Knuppel: 09:11 So, should be interesting to see, obviously for the Boston Bruins. They are a very talented team, they were 11th in National Hockey League in goals with just over three. Their defense has always been good all season long. They were tied for third, given up just over two and a half per game. Given up 29 and a half shots though, and they were one of the most penalized teams. Going to have to stay disciplined in this. Although the Blues weren’t real good on a power play, really bad against the Dallas Stars on the power play. Got better against San Jose, added a couple goals in that series, which obviously were huge goals.
Rodney Knuppel: 09:47 But, let’s be honest, the big key for the Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask, the goaltender, played in 46 … started 45 games for the Bruins. So he’s pretty rested, because 45 regular season games isn’t really that many compared to other starters. I mean, Jordan Binnington’s around there too, but he started a little bit later in the season. It was 27-13 in five in the regular season, allowing 2.48 goals per game.
Rodney Knuppel: 10:15 He had a nice season. He’s one of the best goaltenders, probably the best goaltender the Blues have faced this postseason. Although, Ben Bishop of Dallas, when the Blues got through him, there’s sigh of relief, because was good, and he is a very good goaltender. It’s tough to say who’s better between Tuukka Rask and Ben Bishop. Then of course you’ve got the rookie on St. Louis side, so I mean, it’s really hard to determine who’s got the goaltending leg up over one or the other. I mean, Tuukka Rask’s been in the league longer, obviously. At 32 years old, Tuukka Rask.
Rodney Knuppel: 10:49 So, it’ll be interesting to see. He was the first round draft pick by the Maple Leafs, I believe, way back in 2005. So he’s been in the league quite a long time, where as Jordan Binnington just saw the National Hockey League this year. I mean, it’s hard to give an edge there. Both goalies have been tremendous. Obviously, a huge key’s going to be which goalie is better.
Rodney Knuppel: 11:10 If you’re looking to score, I mentioned the Blues with Vladimir Tarasenko is their top scorer, but Jaden Schwartz has been their postseason guy. Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins has been fantastic, scored 100 points in the regular season. 100. 36 goals, 64 assists. Wow. Was tremendous in the regular season. Been pretty good in the postseason as well, as he scored goals in each of the last two games. Also scored just one in the Columbus series in net four again Toronto.
Rodney Knuppel: 11:44 Because if you remember right, Boston Bruins were facing basically elimination against Toronto in the first round, so both teams have faced plenty of adversity. Bruins, I didn’t get to that, Bruins were down one-0, tied at one-one, went to Toronto and lost, so they were down two-one. They picked up a win in game four, so it was game five, lost game five at home two to one. Down three-two, got to go to Toronto, you win in Toronto, so you push it to game seven, come back home, and you blast the Maple Leafs in game seven to win that series four-three.
Rodney Knuppel: 12:21 Then you got Columbus coming in, and you split the first two at home. Probably a little bit disappointed you split the first two, thinking you could possibly win both games at home. Then you go to Columbus and you actually lose game three, so you’re down two to one again, second time in the series you’re down in the series. You pick up a road win four to one in game four, and then seal the deal in game five and six. In Columbus, game six, three-nothing shut out, so that’s kind of how the Bruins got there. Then this Carolina series was a complete, complete blow out, as they scored 17 goals. Bruins scored 17 goals, just allowed five absolutely running through the Carolina Hurricanes. A very hot Carolina team as well, a team that many thought was destiny.
Rodney Knuppel: 13:05 So, you know, you look at St. Louis, you know, with all the storylines they got going on, last to first type thing. You know, you’ve got the anthem singer, Charles Glenn, you got the cancer survivor, [inaudible 00:13:16], you know, you’re singing Gloria, you’ve got all these storylines for the St. Louis Blues. Now you’ve got Boston who’s just been chilling out, playing the best hockey of anybody in this postseason. I mean, they … yeah, they trailed in that first series, so they’re four and three there. They went four and two the next series, so eight and five, one, four, so they won 12 out of 17 in the postseason.
Rodney Knuppel: 13:39 I mean, you know who the hotter team is here, although the Blues have all the energy just coming off the wins. The Bruins have won seven in a row. In fact, the last time the Bruins lost, April 30th. So we’re nearing a month from the last time the Bruins lost, and part of that is your 10 days off in between. But, I mean, this team is figuring out and finding ways to win, so it’ll be interesting to see there.
Rodney Knuppel: 14:02 A couple more things on the player stats. David Krejci’s another name, Patrice Bergeron, those guys in that top line, David Pastrnak. I mean, all of those guys can really score, can really pass the puck. I mean, those guys combined had, I think it’s got to be somewhere like 350 points between them. I mean, Marchand with 100, Pastrnak with 81, Bergeron with 79, and Krejci with 73. So you do the math on that and tell me that’s a lot of goals, that’s a lot of points. Like we said, they’ve got a good fourth line.
Rodney Knuppel: 14:37 We talked about David Backes has played in 70 games, who scored 20 points. Now, he’s not as much of a scorer as he was back in the day. Then you’ve got, you know, I don’t know, what’s the status [inaudible 00:14:48] Zdeno Chara? He did return to practice, big defenseman, 6’9″. He’s going to go against guys like Colton Parayko, obviously, Alex Pietrangelo, is the Captain on the defensive side for the Blues. So, that’s something to watch, how healthy he is, but he did come back to practice.
Rodney Knuppel: 15:05 That’s kind of what St. Louis did to San Jose, they wore them down and beat them up. Not necessarily dirty, I mean, because they didn’t get called for very many penalties. But they beat up the Sharks, and the Sharks were very short-handed at the end of game five, and at the start of game six, which resulted in two back-to-back five-one losses for the Sharks.
Rodney Knuppel: 15:27 All right, we’ll wrap up the Knup Sports Podcast, the NHL Stanley Cup preview. Again, I’m Rodney Knuppel at Knup Sports. K-N-U-Psports.com. Check us out as we have all the information on the Stanley Cup betting, the NBA finals coming up.
Rodney Knuppel: 15:42 I just want to talk real quick, I will be covering the Stanley Cup, looking forward to it, in St. Louis, games three, game four, and if a possible, game six. I will be there, I will have coverage, so check out the site, check out our Facebook, check out our Twitter. If you want to stay up to date on the NHL Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Finals, we will try to do that for you. Looking forward to being part of the credential press at the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals in St. Louis.
Rodney Knuppel: 16:07 It’s a bucket list thing for me. My team’s there, and I’m covering it. Looking forward to that. So, if you want to send me a message on what you would like to see covered, go ahead and do that at Twitter … Knuppel, K-N-U-P-P-E-LRodney, or just send us an email, and that’ll get across to us.
Rodney Knuppel: 16:23 As far as my official prediction, I am going to be a complete homer and go with the complete storyline, St. Louis Blues come back to game six and win the Stanley Cup. I think the first four, it’s going to split. If I had to guess, I would say split in Boston, split in St. Louis, game five goes to Boston, the Blues find a way to win, and then game six, St. Louis Blues win their first ever Stanley Cup final with a win there.
Rodney Knuppel: 16:50 So I am betting the St. Louis Blues, if I am going out to, you know, westbook SuperBook … Westgate SuperBook, or anywhere like that, that’s who’s offering the plus 130 line right now is Westgate. Anywhere you want to bet, obviously, if that’s the case, Boston minus 150, St. Louis, plus 130. I’m betting St. Louis. I’m taking the underdog, I’m taking the storyline. There’s just not enough value, not enough interest in taking Boston, as far as, yeah, they’re a very good team, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re not the team necessarily to beat, but I think you get a little bit more value out of St. Louis, and I think there’s certainly more storylines. I know storylines don’t win cups, but I think there’s more there. So plus 130 for the St. Louis Blues is my pick.
Rodney Knuppel: 17:37 All right, we’ll talk more as the series gets going. This is our 50th podcast, so thanks for tuning in. If you like what you hear, give us a review, spread the word.
Rodney Knuppel: 17:47 I’m Rodney from Knup Sports Podcast. So long for just a while.
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