5.22.19

Page 21

WEDNESDAY • 05.22.2019 • B

FINAL-LY

J.B. FORBES, JFORBES@POST-DISPATCH.COM

Blues players (from left) Jay Bouwmeester, David Perron, Tyler Bozak and Ryan O’Reilly celebrate Bozak’s goal that made the score 4-1 during the third period Tuesday night at Enterprise Center.

Blues’ heroics wipe away decades of disappointment

Back in Stanley Cup finals for first time in 49 years

What a feeling for Blues’ long-suffering fan base

BY JIM THOMAS

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

JEFF GORDON St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BENJAMIN HOCHMAN St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Blues last saw Boston in the Stanley Cup finals back in 1970, when Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr finished them off with his Game 4 overtime goal. Orr famously went airborne with his iconic celebration . . . and the Blues sank into decades of soul-sapping frustration. Now the Blues are finally back up on the big stage, bidding for their first Cup. They advanced by eliminating the San Jose Sharks 5-1 in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals in a frenzied Enterprise Center. Fans waited nearly five decades for this chance and endured many numbing setbacks. So their persistent chant of “We want the Cup!” was understandable. Just a few months ago, they thought this team would cause more of the familiar exasperation.

Stick taps to Glenn Hall and the Plager brothers, Jimmy Roberts and Ron Schock. To Red Berenson and Noel Picard. Al Arbour, Terry Crisp, Jacques Plante — the whole crew from the infancy of St. Louis Blues hockey. They laid the foundation and electrified this town a half-century ago with Stanley Cup finals appearances in each of their first three years of existence. Fellas, you now have company. For the first time since 1970, the Blues are returning to the Cup finals. This town of toasted ravioli-crunching, pork steak-munching, Bud-guzzling Blues fans are electrified once more. The last time the Blues made the Cup finals in 1970, they faced the Boston Bruins. After defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-1 Tuesday at Enterprise Center, the Blues face. ... the Boston Bruins in the Cup finals. Game 1 is Monday in Boston. Dead last in the 31-team NHL on Jan. 2, the Blues need four victories against Boston to complete their improbable worst-to-first journey. The Blues took the San Jose series 4-2 winning the last three contests. And as was the case with Winnipeg in

At 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, the fans inside Enterprise Center were seized by deafening delirium and it was glorious. For the first time since 1970, the Blues will play in the Stanley Cup finals. For anyone in St. Louis under age 49, it’s a never-felt-it feeling. This was an emotion unlocked. You’ve experienced amazing, one-of-a-kind moments and different stages in your life. Earning your driver’s license, graduating from high school, getting married. And now, you can refer to that feeling from Tuesday — that all-encompassing bliss that kisses your face and makes you scream and smile uncontrollably and beautifully. St. Louis 5, San Jose 1. The Blues won Game 6. The Blues will play the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup.

Please see GORDON, Page B7

Please see BLUES, Page B6

Please see HOCHMAN, Page B7

> Notebook: Sharks missing three of their key players. B6

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS • BLUES WIN SERIES 4-2 Game 1 Sharks 6, Blues 3 GWG: Meier

Game 2 Blues 4, Sharks 2 GWG: Bortuzzo

Game 3 Sharks 5, Blues 4, OT GWG: Karlsson

Game 4 Blues 2, Sharks 1 GWG: Bozak

Game 5 Blues 5, Sharks 0 GWG: Sundqvist

Game 6 Blues 5, Sharks 1 GWG: Tarasenko

Stanley Cup finals, Game 1: 7 p.m. Monday at Boston, KSDK (5)

SPORTS

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