It was 52 years in the making. Wednesday night, the St. Louis Blues won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and won the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s history. The team started at the bottom of the Central Division and looked like a playoff berth was out of the question. Then, 25 year old goaltender Jordan Binnington and interim head coach Craig Berube entered the fold.
Binnington started 30 games and the Blues posted a 24-5-1 record in those games. Berube was behind the bench for 63 games with the Blues and in that span, they went 38-19-6. Both were instrumental parts of an 11 game win streak that helped propel the Blues to relevancy and ultimately put them in position to make a playoff run. And the team never looked back and they ended up hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Among all the history being made in the Stanley Cup Final and the 2018-19 season for the Blues, the fans needed something to be happy about.
“After the Rams left, people wanted to say we (St. Louis) weren’t a sports town.” Alexis Kraft of Downtown Sports Network said.
The perception outside of St. Louis was that St. Louis couldn’t keep a sports team and wasn’t a real “sports city” because of the now Los Angeles Rams packing up and leaving. The city of St. Louis just used that as an opportunity to band together around a different sports team.
Kraft mentions a watch party in downtown St. Louis in which 40,000 people attended. This watch party took place in Busch Stadium, home of the other St. Louis sports team, the 11-time World Series champion St Louis Cardinals.
The city was able to band around the Blues and prove to the world that they were a sports town that was deserving of not only teams, but championships as well.
Another reason this Stanley Cup means so much to the Blues is because of the history with the team surrounding the Stnaley Cup Final. The Blues had never won even one Stanley Cup Final game before this series began.
The Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Final in all three of the team’s first years in the league. They finished with a record of 0-12 in those Stanley Cup Final games. They hadn’t even made it back to the Stanley Cup Final until this past season.
Why is it so important?
Sports have a way of bringing people together and this Stanley Cup Final definitely did that. St. Louis was a city that day that was united with one common goal. They all wanted to witness the Blues win a Stanley Cup. After the football team had taken off and left, they were left with two teams, one with 11 championships and one with zero. Now, June 12, 2019 will forever go down in history as the day that a city, still grieving the loss of a sports team, watched another team go out and make history in more ways than one.