The St. Louis Blues hoisted the Stanley Cup Wednesday night for the first time in franchise history, and so ends the longest wait for the toughest trophy in sports.
It took 52 years for the midwest club to claim Lord Stanley’s Cup, making them the oldest team in NHL history to have never won it all. That all changed with their 4-1 Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins.
There are so many great stories surround this team, from Ryan O’Reilly’s journey towards Conn Smythe success and Jordan Binnington’s out-of-nowhere triumphs to the club’s rapid rise from basement to best and all the the special fans — like hockey’s favourite warrior, Laila Anderson — singing Gloria with every victory earned.
A bond that can't be broken.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 13, 2019
There are plenty of pretty cool stats surrounding this historic Stanley Cup win, too. Here’s a look at some of the interesting facts and figures from the victory:
1. Now that the Blues have ended their wait, all eyes are on the Toronto Maple Leafs to end their slump as not-so-proud owners of the league’s longest active Stanley Cup drought at 52 years. Buffalo and Vancouver aren’t far behind them, at 48 years.
2. Not only had the Blues franchise never won a Cup before this year, but no player on the roster had, either.
3. It’s been a long road to the Stanley Cup for the Blues this spring — 26 games, to be exact. The Blues tied the 2014 Los Angeles Kings for most games played in a single post-season by a Stanley Cup champ. (They went six games in Rounds 1 and 3, and seven in the second round and Cup Final.)
4. But first, they had to get to the post-season in the first place. The road to playoff contention was quite the journey, from last place in the entire NHL to start 2019 to sitting atop the league to close out the campaign.
5. Binnington’s 16 playoff victories sets a new record for most wins by a rookie netminder in a single post-season.
6. The Blues’ victory follows an interesting trend: of the last 11 teams to hoist the Stanley Cup, four had a mid-season coaching change. The Blues, of course, replaced Mike Yeo with Craig Berube back in November of this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins twice won the Cup after a coaching change (first with Dan Bylsma in 2008-09 and then with Mike Sullivan in 2015-16), and the Kings won the Cup with then-new coach Darryl Sutter in 2011-12.
7. Conn Smythe winner O’Reilly is the first player to score goals in four straight Stanley Cup Final games since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1985. He finished the playoffs with a franchise-best eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 26 playoff games.
8. Home-ice advantage? Not if you’re hosting the Blues.
9. The Stanley Cup hasn’t been won by a Canadian team since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, but the Cup has visited its homeland plenty — and it’ll make a number of trips north this summer. The Blues have a whopping 20 Canadian-born players on the roster, which is the most in the league this year.
10. If Taylor Hall is the bringer of NHL Draft Lottery luck, it looks like journeyman Troy Brouwer might just be a good omen for teams winning the Cup…
(You’re up next, Calgary!)
Bonus fact: Barclay, now a Stanley Pup champ, is the winningest pupper in St. Louis Blues history.