The St. Louis Blues are Stanley Cup champions for the first time in franchise history after beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. The series kicked off Monday, May 27, at TD Garden in Boston, home of the Eastern Conference Champion Bruins. It was a dead heat between the two teams, both of whom left their hearts on the ice.
Founded in 1967, St. Louis is in its 51st season, but the Blues organization has gone the entire time without winning the coveted Stanley Cup — until now.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Blues Lost the Stanley Cup Finals in its First Season
St. Louis entered the NHL in the 1967-68 season, one of six new teams as part of the league’s first expansion. The Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and California Seals joined the Blues in doubling the NHL’s size from its storied Original Six teams.
The Blues finished its inaugural season with a mediocre 27-31-16 record. The new East-vs.-West playoff format allowed the Flyers, Kings, Blues and North Stars to make the playoffs, despite all finishing with losing records and with fewer points than all but one of the Eastern Conference teams, the Detroit Red Wings.
St. Louis beat Philadelphia in its first playoff appearance, winning the best-of-seven series four games to three. Taking on the North Stars in the Western Conference Semifinals, they again won four games to three to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. On the other side of the bracket, the Montreal Canadiens swept the Boston Bruins in the first round and beat the Chicago Black Hawks in five games, enjoying a relatively easy path to the Finals.
The Canadiens swept the Blues in four games. However, despite being a heavy underdog, the Blues managed to keep each game within a single goal, and managed to take two of them to overtime.
The 2019 Finals Were a Rematch of the 1970 Finals
After the 1968 Finals loss, the Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Finals again the next year. In the 1969 playoffs, St. Louis swept Philadelphia and Los Angeles, respectively, en route to another showdown with Montreal. The result was the same as the year prior, with the Canadiens sweeping the Blues in four games.
The 1969-70 campaign saw St. Louis finish the regular season in first place in the Western Conference. After an opening round win over the North Stars, four games to two, the Blues faced the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference semifinals. St. Louis defeated the Penguins in six games to make its third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, this time taking on the Boston Bruins. While the opponent was different, the result was the same; the Blues were swept in four games by the Eastern Conference Champions.
The St. Louis Blues have not appeared in a Stanley Cup Finals since the 1970 NHL playoffs. They have reached the Western Conference Finals only three times since then, prior to 2019.