The Brilliant Blues

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Back in January, very few people envisioned the St. Louis Blues where they are now:

the Western Conference Finals. On the morning of January 3rd, the Blues were dead last in the

NHL standings, 11 points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the last wildcard spot in the Stanley

Cup Playoffs. Now, St. Louis is just three wins away from a chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

The Blues record from January 3rd to the final game of the season was an impressive

30-10-5. The key to this quick and amazing turnaround was the team playing better together,

the offense picking it up, and most importantly, a rookie by the name of Jordan Binnington.

Since his call up on January 5th, Binnington has posted an astonishing 24-5-1 regular season

record, and has guided the Blues to playoff series victories over the Winnipeg Jets and the

Dallas Stars.

The Blues opened up with two huge wins in Winnipeg to get out to a 2-0 series lead.

Many analysts did not see this coming, as the Jets had home ice and were the better team over

the course of the season. Jordan Binnington played an amazing two first games, and now the

Blues were in a prime position to advance out of the first round. While many expected the Blues

to play well on their home ice in Game 3, this was not the case. STL was blown out 6-3, and

then followed that game with a painful overtime loss, in a game where the Blues were

dominated in overtime. Back to Winnipeg the Blues went with the series even at two a piece, but

this game, the Blues found themselves again. The Blues went into the 3rd down 2-0, but found

two goals to tie it, and Jaden Schwartz produced a game winner with 15 seconds left to take a

3-2 lead back to the Enterprise center. In the pivotal Game 6, the Blues put on an early

domination of the Jets, leading the way with three goals. The Jets did not go away easily,

adding two more goals, but ultimately fell 3-2 in St. Louis.

The Blues opponent in the second round was the Dallas Stars.While the first six games

of the series provided much action, nothing compared to Game 7 in St. Louis. Backed by an

incredible crowd, the Blues battled the Stars in one of the best Game 7’s in NHL postseason

history. Ben Bishop of Dallas put on a historic performance in net, looking unbeatable in a game

where he totaled 52 saves. The Blues were persistent, going into overtime and double overtime

tied 1-1. 5:50 into the second overtime, though, Bishop looked human. He made a save on

Robert Thomas, but left the puck just sitting behind him, leading to hometown player Pat

Maroon getting the game and series winner.

The past couple years for STL sports fans have not been great. The Cardinals have not

been their normal self, having not made the playoffs since 2015, which ended in the NL Division

Series against the Cubs. The Rams also moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, leaving STL

without a football team. The Blues have not make the postseason last year, but this year,

the team feels different. The joy this team has brought a city that has not had the best sports

teams these past few years has been magnificent, leaving all Blues fans with a realistic

opportunity to see their team win the Stanley Cup.