The Boston Bruins are getting ready to take on the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League’s 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. The series begins Monday, May 27, at TD Garden in Boston, home of the Eastern Conference Champion Bruins.
Boston is seeking it’s seventh Stanley Cup, having won the coveted trophy six times previously. Captain Zdeno Chara is looking for his second ring with the Bruins, with the team having won it all under his leadership in 2011.
Here is what you need to know:
The Bruins’ 2011 Cup Win Broke a Nearly-40-Year Drought
The Bruins’ 2011 championship season was capped off by a grueling, seven-game series against the Vancouver Canucks. At the end of it all, Boston, backstopped by goaltender Tim Thomas, added another banner to their arena rafters. It was their first Finals appearance since the 1989-90 season, in which they lost the 1990 Finals to the Edmonton Oilers. It was their first Finals win since defeating the New York Rangers in 1972.
As one of the NHL’s Original Six teams, Boston has been around longer than most teams. In fact, as the league’s first American team (joining in 1924), the franchise actually pre-dates the Original Six era. The team did not qualify for the playoffs in its first two years in the league, but made it to the Finals in its third season, losing to the original Ottawa Senators team (now defunct). Two years later, The Bruins captured their first Stanley Cup in the 1929 playoffs. A decade later they did it again, following the 1938-39 season. Another Finals win in 1941 gave Boston its third Stanley Cup.
Despite five more Finals appearances, the Bruins didn’t win it all again until 1970, a drought that included not qualifying for the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons from 1959-67. Boston’s Cup wins in 1970 and 1972 were the team’s last of the 20th century.
The 2019 Finals Are a Rematch of the 1970 Finals
Thought it’s been a long time since they’ve met in the playoffs, the Blues and the Bruins aren’t strangers. In fact, they shared hockey’s biggest stage during the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, a matchup that Boston won handily, sweeping the series in four games. It was St. Louis’ third year in the league, as part of the 1967 expansion, and third consecutive Finals appearance. The 1970 Finals were also the last time occasion in which the Blues’ played for the Cup, having not made it back to the Finals until 2019.
Obviously much has changed between the two teams in the years since. Instead of Bobby Orr, the Bruins will look for game-winning goals from the likes of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Instead of the duo of Glenn Hall and Jaques Plante, the Blues will be backstopped by the tandem of Jake Allen and Jordan Binnington.