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Home / Sports / BenFred: 5 reasons why the Blues finally reached the Stanley Cup Final | Ben Frederickson

BenFred: 5 reasons why the Blues finally reached the Stanley Cup Final | Ben Frederickson





No, you did not dream.

Your St. Louis Blues has taken four wins from the first Stanley Cup, four wins from this parade, and four wins from a curse.

A tornado warning was tried to stop her.

Like the sharks and the stars and the jets, it failed.

These blues switched coaches, changed goalkeepers and joined a crowded Tuesday night in front of a crowded audience at the Enterprise Center cognizance of an organization that had been banned since 1

970 for the Stanley Cup finals.

Hey buddy, they are still here. And then Kelly Chase cried in the hallway next to the locker room, the man who first read this blues rallying cry. And there was the little Laila, the blues superheroine, interviewing Alexander Steen. And there was Bobby Plager in his playoff beard, celebrating for two.

A crowd of 18,684 gathered under a scary sky, and that does not count the mass in Ballpark Village. The hockey gods moved in our inner city. Tornado sirens sounded. So? Those who could not be here watched from their cellars – if their reception did not turn out. The storm calmed down. The sirens fell silent. Not long after the blues scored the first goal of the game, the rain stopped.

The blues legends Chris Pronger, Brett Hull and a long list of well-oiled alums with tears in their eyes tried to understand a 5-1 blues victory. The current Cardinals Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong cheered like Average Joe. Old friends Chris Long and David Freese appeared on the big screen and roared. It was a movie in real life and just got the best part.

"We're not done yet, boys," Blues coach Craig Berube told his men.

"Four more victories," Mr. Plager repeated.

"There is one more opponent to beat," said Vladimir Tarasenko.

"The big prize is still ahead," added General Manager Doug Armstrong.

Boston waves. The focus shifted to the Bruins before the last call in the Enterprise Center. Here's why the blues fly to Beantown. , ,

. 1 Perfectly placed physicality






  Blues poses sharks in Game 3

David Perron of Blues checks out Erik Karlsson of San Jose during Game 3. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

Let's go back to Game 1 of these Western Conference Finals, when the Sharks won and almost made fun of the Blues' attempt to defeat them. San Jose high-caliber defender Erik Karlsson, who was a specific target of the blues for his missed time with groin and leg injuries, said at a post-game press conference that the blues seemed more interested in physicality than in hockey. Some media members ran with the story. The blues were too worried to be too physical! No, they do not have that. While they focused on focusing on hits and pucks instead of just hits, the blues never really reduced their intentions to make San Jose physically uncomfortable.

It worked. The sharks played the sixth game on Tuesday without Karlsson, Tomas Hertl and captain Joe Pavelski. All had been thrown out of the game due to blues hits or injuries due to blues hits. The Blues beat the Sharks 208-182 in six games. And in the first four games, the Blues beat the Sharks between 148 and 99. Alex Pietrangelo's game 5 against Pavelski threw him out of the series. Ivan Barbashev's game 5 against Hertl threw him out of the series. The blues were relentless towards Karlsson, who turned from physical condition to making faces in Game 5 and was completely absent in Game 6. The heat-seeking rocket Sammy Blais had 31 hits in the series. Every time you blink, he smashes someone. The sharks collapsed as the line aged. When they started fighting back, it was too late.

"I think the two toughest and heaviest teams are in the final," said San Jose coach Pete DeBoer on Tuesday. "Everyone talks about skill and speed, and all these little players have room, but I do not think it's an accident. There is no place. They are heavy. They are tough. They are organized. "

. 2 Dynamic Depth






  Blues look is redeemed in Game 4

Blues Center Oskar Sundqvist clears the puck during Game 4. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

Asked Tuesday night to set his trading deadline Doug Armstrong, the blues general manager, explained why he was so stuck.

"I did not want to replace any of our nine," said Armstrong. "We believed in what (Oscar) Sundqvist did. We believed in (Ivan) Barbashev. So it felt like something was going on in this group. We felt that they deserved the right to see how far they could get. "

In this series, the Blues scored goals from 12 different players. Twelve! Jaden Schwartz, who had the worst regular season of his career, went on tour with four players. Three blues – Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko – each had three. Ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist splintered. Then came six others with one, Robert Bortuzzo's game-winning backhand, to Brayden Schenn's Game 6-Drought Buster. The third and fourth lines of the blues are still groundbreaking, and filling the top line of the shark with the fourth line was an important factor. A whopping 17 blues scored one point in this series.

Zoom out and the depth is even more dramatic. Eighteen blues have at least one postseason finish. Twenty blues have at least one postseason. Twelve blues have several postseason goals. Seventeen blues have several postseason points.

Another example: Sundqvist, a fourth liner, leads all blues with a plus-plus plus minus of -7. Do not call him a fourthliner. The blues have refused to mark their lines because everyone plays such an important role. It would sound cheesy unless it's actually true.

"We play all four lines," said Tarasenko on Tuesday. "It was every game. Team wins. Everyone does their job really well. There is nobody, two, three, four. It's just our team. We get four victories, we keep going, and that's what matters. "

. 3 Tarasenko strengthens






  Blues and Sharks meet in the third round

Blues striker Vladimir Tarasenko fits the Sharks in Game 1. Photo of J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com



When Tarasenko's quiet game raised questions about his performance after the season, both Berube and his star player had to make decisions. Berube could stand up for his player or publicly challenge him. And Tarasenko had to decide how he would react. Berube did both, praising Tarasenko's ability, but also asking him for more. The coach played it perfectly. As well as Tarasenko, who broke off his game and especially his game from the puck and as a result broke through his goalless spell.

After shutting Tarasenko off from a shot in Game 1, the Sharks scored more than three shots on average over the next five games. In his last eight games after the season, he scored a goal, scored three goals and scored four assists in the next five games. He was a plus-3 player after Berube challenged him. Tarasenko's 16 hits in the series take fourth place among the blues players. When number 91 is active and firing, good things happen for the blues. His coach pressed the right button, but Tarasenko deserves the recognition that he has taken the opportunity to silence the conversation about its effects in big games.

. 4 Binnington is a cold-blooded seamstress






  Blues and Sharks go bankrupt in Game 6 of the semifinals

Goalie Jordan Binnington leads the blues on the ice before the sixth game in the Enterprise Center. Photo of J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

For the third time in so many postseason series, blues rookie goalie Jordan Binnington refused to admit more than two goals in any of the last three games in the series. He now has a 7-2 record in the last three games of each round. He has stopped 235 of the 247 shots he faced in these games. During the Blues victories against the Sharks in Game 4, 5 and 6, Binnington stopped 75 of 77 shots.

"He's a really good goalie," said Sharks striker Joe Thornton.

"You must know what." A great goalkeeper means for an ice hockey team, "said Bob Plager on Tuesday." Go back to our first years. Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante. Not bad. We went to three Stanley Cups. We had a good group of people but we had great goalkeepers. Our goalkeepers gave us a chance to be in each one. "If you're not playing well, they gave us the chance to play well, this guy did the same thing, look at the third period, they had many in the end We had a few, but we scored the goals and our goalkeeper (Binnington) gave us the opportunity. "

5. Hand Pass? Blues Pass






  Blues and Sharks Compete in Game 3 of the Semi-Final

Blues manager Craig Berube and players await a decision by the officials while viewers watch a repeat of Sharks' Timo Meier holding a Passing by it led to the winning goal of Game 3. Photo by JB Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

It could have shattered her.

Not so long ago, the on-ice officials had missed Timo Meier's illegal hand-over in front of the Sharks' play-changing overtime goal in Game 3, the blues could have derailed. But Berube's bunch have a habit of bypassing potholes instead of rolling around in them. The fortunate Sharks became defensive after the non-call. The blues shrugged their shoulders and turned into a steamroller. They were 3-0 after the hand pass. They beat the Sharks 12-2 after the missed call.

"They have found this tough character," said Armstrong Room, to improve on an already amazing comeback story.


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