Well here we are with game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals about to kick off tonight. I think I speak for everyone when I say that these playoffs have been wacky. 1st time in history that all division champs were eliminated by the wildcard. The insane season that the Tampa Bay Lighting had came to a screeching halt when they were swept in 4 games by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even crazier than that, the playoff hardened Pittsburgh Penguins were swept by a team (Islanders) who were swept by a team (Carolina) who then were swept by the Bruins. I haven’t seen this much sweeping since I spilled gravy all over my kitchen floor last Thursday.
It’s safe to say then that the Bruins hardest series they’ve played in these playoffs so far was their first round matchup against Toronto which went 7 games. The eastern conference was chaotic to say the least and Boston took full advantage of it. Tuukka Rask has propelled the Bruins into the finals all post season with a .942 save % this post season on top of 2 shutouts. Another thing that Boston has going for them that probably doesn’t get talked about much is their depth in terms of scoring. The Bruins have had 19 different goal scorers this post season which has tied their franchise record.
On the flip side the St. Louis Blue have provided us with one of the most interesting mid-seasons turn around success stories I’ve ever witnessed. At the beginning of January they had the worst recored in the NHL, now they are 4 games away from lifting the Stanley Cup. Aided by two major factors in a coaching change mid season and a decisions to sit Jake Allen and start the young kid Jordan Binnington. The Blues surged from last to the second in the Central division only one point behind the Nashville Predators. The Blues are finding success with a physically brand of hockey along with a stout defense and incredible goal tending.
This is going to be a series that reminded us why the NHL Playoffs are so incredible to watch. I fully expect this to go 7 games with intense, very physical hockey.
Boston a fan base thats waited something like 110 days since their last championship parade vs St. Louis a city thats had a hockey team since the 70’s and have never experienced a Stanley Cup Championship. Should be one for the ages.