New York, NY – The NHL Final is set and we now know who will do battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Boston Bruins made quick work of the Carolina Hurricanes in a four-game sweep of the Easter Conference Final. Out west, the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks in six games to reach the Final.
It’s been a magical run for the Blues, who had the worst record in the NHL in early January and now find themselves in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 and four wins away from their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. That 1970 Final ended with Bobby Orr’s famous flying goal in overtime to clinch the Cup victory for the Bruins. That goal is immortalized in Boston in the form of Bobby Orr’s statue outside of TD Garden. Almost five decades later, the B’s and Blues meet again in this year’s Final.
The Bruins swept the ‘Canes in the Eastern final after Carolina swept the Islanders in the second round of the playoff, who swept the Penguins in the first round. It hasn’t been a good year for teams that have swept a round of the playoffs. The Columbus Blue Jackets lost to the Bruins in the second round of the playoffs after sweeping the President’s Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. We’ll see if the Bruins can buck the Slot Terbaru in the Finals or if the Blues are destined for their first Stanley Cup victory.
The Blues were a part of the first NHL expansion in 1967 as the league went from six to twelve teams. It’s been a history of disappointment for St. Louis who have made just the one appearance in the Finals until this point. The Bruins won their last Stanley Cup in 2011. They’ve won two Cups and appeared in eight Finals since they last met the Blues in the 1970 Final.
Now the Blues physical gameplay and aggressive forecheck will meet an offensive powerhouse in the Boston Bruins. It should be a good series. I’m rooting for the Blues to hoist their first Stanley Cup, which means the Bruins will most likely win this series. If they do, that would stretch the Blues’ Cup drought to 52 years. They’re currently tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs in this regard. Both teams are two years away from matching the New York Rangers’ infamous 54-year cup drought.
The puck drops in the Final Monday night, 11 days after the Bruins last played. The long break may hurt the B’s early in the Final. The Blues will come into the Final after a six-day break. I’m looking forward to the series. It should be a good one and I hope it goes the distance. Let’s see who will be drinking from Lord Stanley’s chalice in two weeks time.