Blues Head Home With Chance To Clinch First Stanley Cup Final Berth In 49 Years After Dominant 5-0 Win In Game 5 Of Western Conference Final Against Sharks

Thearon W. Henderson:Getty ImagesPhoto: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The St. Louis Blues will head back to the Gateway City with a chance to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 after a 5-0 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final at SAP Center against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoon. Game 6 of the series is on Tuesday night at Enterprise Center (8 PM ET, can be found on NBCSN).

Forward Jaden Schwartz recorded a hat-trick in Sunday’s win to climb two goals within Sharks center Logan Couture’s 14 for the league lead in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Forwards Oskar Sundqvist (fourth of the postseason) and Vladimir Tarasenko (seventh) also scored in the route of San Jose.

On January 3, the Blues’ 34 points were tied for the fewest in the NHL. They were 11 points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the second wild card in the Western Conference. The Blues fired head coach Mike Yeo on November 20 and replaced him with Craig Berube. They finished 30-15-5 over their final 50 games to finish one point shy of the Nashville Predators, the 2017-18 Presidents’ Trophy winners, for the Central Division title.

They started the postseason with back-to-back road wins over the Winnipeg Jets, who went to the Western Conference Final in 2018. While they lost both Games 3 and 4 to the Jets at home, they won the final two games of the series to secure a spot in the Second Round, where they would face the Dallas Stars. Despite trailing 3-2 in the series with Game 6 at American Airlines Center, the Blues won Game 6 with a convincing 4-1 victory and Game 7 by a score of 2-1 in overtime on a goal by hometown hero Patrick Maroon.

After a lopsided 6-3 loss in Game 1 to the Sharks, the Blues stole home-ice advantage with a 4-2 victory in Game 2. They lost Game 3 due to a horrendous call by the officials on Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson’s game-winning goal in overtime as forward Tomas Hertl clearly fed him with a hand pass. But the Blues bounced back with a 2-1 win in Game 4 and now a 5-0 victory in Game 5 at the Shark Tank, one of the toughest buildings in the NHL.

Rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, who made 21 saves in the Game 5 shutout, has been key to St. Louis’ turnaround. After making his NHL debut on January 7, he posted a record of 24-5-1, a save percentage of .927, a goals-against average of 1.89, and five shutouts during the regular season. The 25-year old is 10-7 with a save percentage of .908 and a goals-against average of 2.58 in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is nominated for the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s top rookie.

Now, they’re just a win away from a date with the Boston Bruins to compete for Lord Stanley. They faced the Bruins in the Cup Final in 1970, when they were swept in four games. That marked their third consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

If the Sharks are going to force a Game 7 at the tank, they might have to do it without Karlsson, captain Joe Pavelski, and forward Joonas Donskoi, who all left Game 5 due to injuries.

With a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup Final at home, the St. Louis crowd will definitely be roaring on Tuesday night.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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4 Responses to Blues Head Home With Chance To Clinch First Stanley Cup Final Berth In 49 Years After Dominant 5-0 Win In Game 5 Of Western Conference Final Against Sharks

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    And the St. Louis Blues can achieve the Cup Finals with one more win. Go Blue Notes!

    The Blues and the Bruins have done all those great things that the Caps did LAST year to get to the Finals. You can FEEL the Will To Win. BOS vs STL will be one for the ages — and a GRUDGE match extraordinaire! Will be a replay of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals where BOS skunked STL in four games and Bobby Orr got to make his famous Goal Flight with the series winner. Poor STL! They made the Finals in their first three NHL seasons! But got munched by MTL (twice) and by the Phil Esposito Bruins. The Blues are Overdue!

    The Caps have broken their hideous Never-a-Championship drought at 44 years. Then there are three really bad ones: Buffalo and Vancouver (47 years) and St. Louis (50 years). Plenty of futility – but no sympathy – for Toronto (50 years No Cup), PHI Flyers (42 years), and NYI at 38 years.

    No credit for the ridiculously illicit Arizona franchise who have been losing millions of dollars for 38 years and haven’t won anything. That fancy information-technology Canadian billionaire Basillie (the “Blackberry” hand-held gadget tycoon) wanted to buy the “Coyotes” and move them to Hamilton, Ontario … but he was told to go soak his head by the College of Cardinals (all the other NHL owners who kowtow to Gary Buttman). They told the guy that he was “unreliable”, i.e., he has WAY too much dirt on other sitting NHL criminal owners. Plus he dared to suggest that the Coyotes franchise would draw better and make more money in Ontario than in the Arizona desert. The nerve of this guy!

    So Basillie is an unreliable bad guy. I suppose so: Buttman rakes in MUCH more cash with the Sell-your-soul expansions in Las Vegas and Seattle. A BILLION dollars in cold hard cash, all to the NHL front-office, between these two new expansion teams. And in return they get to skim talent off the TOP of all the other rosters, rather than the BOTTOM, which all the other franchises have had to endure.

    The Caps’ window is the next two seasons – do or drown. When Seattle hits the NHL and helps itself to the Caps #11 player, and everybody else’s too, the Ovechkin era will relegate to history. Drastic action required! GMBM call your office again!

    Patrick Roy is interviewing for the vacant Ottawa Senators head coaching job: https://www.nhl.com/news/ottawa-looking-to-interview-patrick-roy-for-head-coach/c-307462024

    Either Roy or Guy Boucher would be a major upgrade over Coach Milquetoast. So would Dale Hunter. GMBM call your office again and again!

    Like

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    I’m hoping the Blues can advance and then beat Boston for their first Stanley Cup ever. Confess I was a Blues fan before I was a Caps fan. I had lived in the St Louis area from 1962-1966 and then moved to DC area. Blues came into existence soon after I left that area so they became my team. I didn’t become a Caps fan until 1975, when I had graduated from college and my boyfriend (a former Flyers fan) had taken me to a Caps game and I had learned they had just come into existence the previous season.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      GO BRUINS GO

      Like

    • Day One Caps Fan says:

      Let’s Go Blue Notes! Bam Bam – Bam Bam Bam!
      If Blues win The Cup they should have a week-long festival with HUNDREDS of former Blues hockey players, coming to town to revel in the Great Victory!

      Like

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