They did it to me again this year.
Since 1967 when the St. Louis Blues were a first year expansion NHL hockey team, I have loved and lived for the Blues. Their first three years in the league they were in the Stanley Cup finals. I got to watch them play on my family’s old black-and-white Motorola against the Boston Bruins, their third try at winning the cup. (My best friend preferred the Bruins and every other kid in town who could even stand hockey sided with them… Hence old Tiger Bates crooning at me “St. Louie is gonna be Blue tonight!” after every single game.) They didn’t realistically have a chance. They were the representative from the expansion half of the league. They dominated teams like the Minnesota North Stars, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the California Golden Seals because they managed to land aging Hall-of-Famers like goalies Glenn Hall, Jaques Plante, and scorers like Dickie Moore and Doug Harvey in the expansion draft… there’s more to read about their history here;
I also loved the next generation of heroes, like Red Berensen here, the old Red Baron of Hockey, and future Hall of Famers like Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, and did you know that the Great Wayne Gretzky played a season with the Blues before he retired? Almost every year of their existence since that fateful first three years of Stanley Cup play they have been a legitimate contender to go back and actually win the cup. Philadelphia did it in the 70’s, Pittsburgh in the 80’s and 90’s, the Stars did it after moving to Dallas. But the Blues have never made it back to the Stanley Cup Finals. Something always goes wrong.
We never seem to be able to get past arch rivals. The Chicago Blackhawks beat us and go on to win the cup. The Los Angeles Kings beat us and go on to win the cup. The last three years in a row we’ve been taken out in the very first round of the playoffs… This year, despite winning the toughest division in hockey, they lose to the Minnesota Wild (the team that filled the hole the North Stars left when they moved to Dallas). I am totally confusticated and fristumbobulated… and I mean in the worst possible way! (Those are bad words in the language of the fairy-folk from Iowa… terrible curse words.) It couldn’t be worse… well… except, of course for being a fan of Chicago Cubs baseball. (Yeah, I guess it could be worse.)
Anyway… after such high hopes… I am once again singing the Blues.