The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals are finally here with a rematch of the classic 1970 finals between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. Both teams boast hot goalies with Finnish hero Tuukka Rask in net for the Bruins and going up against rookie goalie Jordan Binnington and the St. Louis Blues.
The Bruins (49-24-9), the second-best team in the NHL this season represent the Eastern Conference. The Blues (45-28-9) are the hottest team in the league after roaring back from last place to start the new calendar year.
2019 STANLEY CUP FINALS SCHEDULE:
Monday, May 27 – Game 1 at Boston
Wednesday, May 29 – Game 2 at Boston
Saturday, June 1 – Game 3 at St. Louis
Monday, June 3 – Game 4 at St. Louis
Thursday, June 6 – Game 5 at Boston **
Sunday, June 9 – Game 6 at St. Louis **
Wednesday, June 12 – Game 7 at Boston **
** if necessary
The Bruins have home-ice advantage in the Finals. They host Games 1 and 2 in Boston at TD Garden this week with the finals beginning on Monday night. The Finals migrates to St. Louis for Game 3 and 4 next weekend.
This is a rematch of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins, led by the legendary Bobby Orr, defeated the Blues in an overtime thriller. The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup. The Bruins last won the Cup in 2011.
The Road to the Bruins vs. Blues
The Bruins are riding a seven-game winning streak. They swept the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Columbus Blue Jackets stunned everyone when they swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round. The Bruins picked off the Blue Jackets in the second round in six games. The Bruins toughest opponent occurred in the opening round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs were trying to become the first team from Canada to win the Cup in over two decades. They gave the Bruins a good fight and took a 3-2 series lead, but the Bruins won back-to-back elimination games to knockout the Leafs.
The Blues picked off the fortuitous San Jose Sharks in six games to win the Western Conference Finals. The Blues won the semifinals thanks to an overtime goal from hometown hero Pat Maroon in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars. In the opening round, the Blues knocked out the Winnipeg Jets in six games.
Hot Rask, Sick Power Play
You’re only as good as your goalie in the playoffs. The Bruins have been unstoppable because of their smoking-hot goalie Tuukka Rask.
Rask has two shutouts in his last five games. The stonewall from Finland allowed five goals in the entire series against the Hurricanes. Rask (12-5) has a 94.2 save percentage in the postseason.
The Bruins are one of the best in the league on the power play. In the postseason, they converted goals on 34 percent of the power play. It’s difficult to draw a penalty in the playoffs, but it’s ever harder to actually score a power play goal.
Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with 8 goals in the postseason. Brad Marchand leads the team with 18 points including seven goals. His linemate, David Pastrnak, scored 15 points with 8 goals.
From Last Place to the Finals
The St. Louis Blues experienced one of those whirlwind seasons that only a Hollywood screenwriter could whip up. They fired their head coach Mike Yeo early in the season in hopes of shaking up the team, but new head coach Craig Berube struggled at first as the team sunk to last place. They rang in the year 15-18-4 as the worst team in the NHL.
Little did they know that promoting Berube would become a godsend. The former enforcer and big-time brawler inspired the Blues to play tougher, old-school hockey and they went on an epic winning streak with 30 win in the next 45 games. Not only did they make the playoffs, they finished second in the division. Now, they find themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Berube is trying to make history as well. He is attempting become the first head coach of First Nations descent to win a Stanley Cup.
The Blues are only four wins away from a Cup thanks to their rookie goalie who is playing well beyond his years. Jordan Binnington (12-7) has a 91.4 save percentage in the playoffs. The Blues goalie allowed only two goals in his last three games with one shutout.
Jaden Schwartz stepped up big time in the playoffs. The winger scored just 11 goals in the regular season, but leads the Blues with 12 goals in the postseason. He also has 4 assists for a team-leading 16 points. Vladimir Tarasenko scored 8 goals and added five assists.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is the heart and soul of the Blues. He logged the most ice time thus far with a pair of goals and 11 assists.
Betting on the Cup, Another Title for Beantown?
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Boston Bruins are -160 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The St. Louis Blues are +135 odds to win the Cup.
Heading into Game 1 in Boston, the Bruins are -150 moneyline favorites at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The over/under goal total is five goals.
Boston is seeking their third major sports title in the last nine months. The Boston Red Sox defeated the LA Dodgers to win the World Series back in 2018. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots defeated the LA Rams to win Super Bowl LIII in February.