The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals concluded with a heart-pounding Game 7 Wednesday night, ending with St. Louis Blues as this year's champion, almost 50 years since being swept by the Bruins.
The team avenged their historic 1970 defeat almost shutting out the East Conference champions Boston Bruins with a 4-1 victory at TD Garden, claiming their first Stanley Cup championship. The team, as well as Most Valuable Player Ryan O'Reilly, were awarded during the telecast, amid boos from the Boston audience.
Ahead of the game, experts assured the event would be a must-watch for hockey fans, as the Blues came in having never won a cup. The Bruins have more of an arsenal of recognition, as they have won several Stanley cups including one in a Game 7 in 2011.
"Obviously, it's emotional for Boston to be home. I think St. Louis will come out and probably play their best game," NHL Network's E.J. Hradek told he outlet ahead of the game. "They've been great on the road; [Jordan] Binnington has been able to bounce back and I expect he will. [I] expect a heck of a hockey game. Special teams will play into it. The same guys officiating Game 7, officiated Game 6."
He added: "St. Louis has got to find a way to create something on the power play and Boston has to continue to do what they've done, which is kill penalties well and get chances on the PP."
"I expect it to be a close game. I think St. Louis will play very well but it's a toss-up. It's a toss-up series," he said.
Sportnet's Nick Kypreos compared the final game to the Super Bowl saying "it's one game, winner takes it all."0comments
"I think it's been a crazy, unexplainable playoffs," he told the publication. "Unpredictable, top seeds going out early. If we follow the trend, the St. Louis Blues should win the Stanley Cup tonight because the Boston Bruins are the better team on paper; they're the favorites coming into tonight. But based on what I've seen in the last two months I'll take a chance on the Blues winning."
"Whichever team can come out, handle the pressure and embrace the moment, want to be on the ice and not be scared of it and just have fun with it [will win]," ESPN's Barry Melrose said. "You'll remember it for the rest of your life; remember it for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons. So we'll see which team can do that. Obviously, home ice favors Boston, but if you've looked at St. Louis they do not care about home ice; they're better on the road. So that should not factor."