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Bruins open as Cup favorites against Blues

25 May 2019

When Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks ended with that bad noncall in overtime, it looked like it might be the end of the St. Louis Blues. That series also pitted the Blues against the Bruins.

The first game of the best-of-seven series takes place in Boston on Monday.

Game 6 goes Tuesday night from the SAP Center before shifting back to St. Louis for Game 7, if necessary. This is undeniable. But the Sharks went out so meekly on the offensive end in these last three games.

Now, the Sharks must face an uncertain offseason with Erik Karlsson, Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Gustav Nyquist heading toward unrestricted free agency.

The Blues were in last place in the entire National Hockey League back in January, but they engineered a remarkable turnaround and now sit four wins away from glory.

The Blues are marching into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in decades.

The Blues outscored the Sharks 12-2 in the final three games. Pavelski traveled with the Sharks and was a game-time decision for Game 6, but it ultimately was decided he was too injured to play. Expect copious amounts of "David Backes vs. the Blues" and "Jordan Binnington vs".

Only four teams in the expansion era have reached the Final after ranking among the bottom three in the standings at any point following their 20th game: the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens, 1967-68 Blues, 1990-91 Minnesota North Stars and 2009-10 Philadelphia Flyers. He made 21 saves in a 5-0 win in Game 4 on Sunday. This did not happen. Last but not least, Erik Karlsson's groin issues finally caught up to him and he had to exit the game early as well. Only two St. Louis forwards (Perron and Ryan O'Reilly) were on the ice for more expected goals-against than for in 5-on-5 situations, according to Natural Stat Trick, and only one (Robert Thomas) was on the ice for more goals-against than for.

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with the Bruins bench after scoring a third period empty net goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena.

Fans started leaving a watch party at the SAP Center after the Blues were up 3 to 1 in the third period. The next two goals were icing on the cake for the Blues and their fans, as they have waited 49 years for this moment, a chance at the Stanley Cup. I want to give them credit. The Blues capitalized on the Sharks timidness and scored goals while the Sharks reeled. "They are not playing as a team".

Berube is technically still an interim coach, although it seems ridiculous to call him that after he just took this team to the Cup final, and after general manager Doug Armstrong already said he's getting a contract when the season is over.

Bruins open as Cup favorites against Blues