Tag Archives: St. Louis Blues

The Blues Rise Up

As the Stanley Cup playoffs proceeded, my team, the St. Louis Blues, took on the Dallas Stars, my hometown team. Of course, I couldn’t really lose in this playoff best-of-seven, because I love both teams. But the way it turned out was a super-win for the good guys.

The Stars won their first-round playoff based on the magnificent play of Goalie Ben Bishop. His play recalled for me the days when the Great Glenn Hall won the playoff MVP award for the Blues in the Stanley Cup final that the Blues lost to the Montreal Canadiens in 1968.

The Blues, led by leading scorer Vladimir Teresenko, have been the hottest team in the second half of the NHL season. They came from far back in the pack and out of the playoff picture into the playoffs, winning against the favored Winnepeg Jets in the first round.

And the series itself could not have been more amazing. The Blues finally won the deciding seventh game in the second overtime on a goal by Left Wing Patrick Maroon. It could not have been more exciting. Especially after the Blues had playoff hopes dashed in the first round so many times in recent years. Now, if the Blues can only beat the hated San Jose Sharks, they will be in the Stanley Cup final again for the first time since 1970.

I am, of course, not a sports reporter. I am a loony Blues fan who never gives up even though his beloved hockey team has never won the big prize.

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Playoff Blues Once Again

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Yes, it happened again.  My favorite hockey team, having advanced in the playoffs by beating a team they weren’t supposed to be able to beat, have lost in the next round.  No more nonsense about this being our year.  The St. Louis Blues have the playoff blues again this year.  No Chicago Cubs’ end-of-the-world theatrics for us.

NHL: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues

Our resident superstar, Vladimir Tarasenko, failed to bring us the elusive Stanley Cup again this year.  I mean, I have only been rooting for them to win it all since the team was founded in the 1960’s.  We were able to be in three consecutive Stanley Cup finals.  The Great Glenn Hall cemented his standing as a Hall of Fame player by being the first and only goalie of a losing team to win the MVP of the playoffs award in the twilight of his career.  The team was the winningest team in all of hockey for several straight years in the 90’s, and were led by legendary Brett Hull (who only managed to win the Cup after moving to the Dallas Stars) and still no Cup win.  50-plus years without a championship.  I guess we have to wait another 50 to play by Cubs’ rules.

I will be 110 years old when we celebrate that Stanley Cup.

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The Annual Appointment with Disappointment

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Since the 1970 St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup Final where they lost to the Boston Bruins in 4 straight games, I have waited for the chance to return and have one more shot at rooting for my team to win their first hockey championship, their first Stanley Cup.  We were in the finals and we had beaten the two best teams in hockey to get there.  But hockey playoffs are more grueling than any other sports playoffs. We lost in 6 games.  I am a dedicated fan.  And I will be one for life.  And I will root for them again next year.  And they will very likely lose again this time of year next year.  But that’s not the point.  They will always be my team.

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The Second Round

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It went to seven games just like the Chicago Blackhawk series.  I was fully prepared to see the Blues lose and be out of the playoffs… again.  But it didn’t go quite that way this time.  Hope has returned to roost in the heart of this Blues fan.

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The Blues are going to the Conference Championship series for the first time since 2001.  It will be a chance to return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970.  The Blues have never won the Cup.  Now that the string of first round playoff exits is ended, I have reason to hope that some of the endless frustrations are coming to an end.  The next round will either be against the Nashville Predators or the San Jose Sharks.  The Blues have already defeated much tougher foes in the first two rounds, the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks and the division champion Dallas Stars.  But I am, of course, aware that either team is capable of upsetting the Blues.  I am mentally prepared for a loss.  However, there is reason to hope.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott stretches just before the start of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 14, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The reason to hope is goalie Brian Elliot.  He stood up to more than 30 shots on goal in last night’s game.  Only one got past him.  The other side was not nearly so lucky… or so skilled.  Combined with the scoring abilities of Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny they should be unstoppable.  I know I am rattling on with my own self-absorbed fascinations and ephemeral joy at last night’s victory.  And I know it may not be any more than a moment’s flicker of light and hope and happiness… but that’s what being a sports fan is all about.

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Rare Are the Good Times

Last night brought second-hand victories to Mickeyworld.  I am definitely NOT a Republican, but the Indiana Primary results put a smile on my face.  Not, of course, because the Orangutan Man with a pocket-full of wall plans won and will probably be the GOP nominee.  Rather, because the evil space lizard who wants to put an end to everything good that comes from government finally dropped out of the race for President.  Yes, Ted Cruz has put his world domination ambitions on hold until some future election or military or political coup.  And Trump against any candidate the Democrats put forward will probably lose… unless Americans all have lobotomies before November.

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The NHL playoff game last night also yielded good news.  The St. Louis Blues, after having beaten last year’s Stanley Cup champion, beat the Dallas Stars 6 goals to 1 in the third game of round two.  They totally dominated the division champions and took the lead in the series in a way that makes it seem that going to roll over them.

I am certainly not fool enough to imagine the good times will last.  Good things happen one day, only to evaporate into nothingness the next.  But I tend to believe that I have every right to enjoy the good things while they happen.  Boo-hoos for tomorrow.  Yippee-kai-yays for today.

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St. Louis on a High Note

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My all-time favorite hockey team beat the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, in the seventh and final game of their first round playoff series.  They will now take on the hometown Dallas Stars in round two.  I can’t afford to see them play here in town, or even on TV, which we don’t have at the moment.  But I can root on the Blues to defeat the hometown Stars, and maybe… just maybe… it is finally our year!

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Tarasenko is the scoring star of this year’s Blues team.

I have been a Blues hockey fan since the team was founded in the 60’s.  Their first three years saw them in the Stanley Cup finals against the Montreal Canadiens in ’68 and ’69 and the Boston Bruins in ’70.  They represented the six expansion teams from the six-team expansion division, and they didn’t stand a chance.  They lost all four games in all three series.  But I was hooked.  I was a hockey fan and Blues fan for life after that.  And they haven’t been back to the Stanley Cup Finals since.  They have had great teams capable of it.  They have had stars like Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Curtis Joseph, and Brenden Shanahan.  Hall of Famers like Glen Hall and Jaques Plante gave them their previous chances at the championship.  This year, it will be up to team captain David Backes, goalie Brian Elliot, and Vladimir Tarasenko to lead the team to the wins they have never managed before.

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It is premature for me to celebrate already.  The Blues play the Dallas Stars in the next round, a resurgent team led by Jamie Benn, an emerging superstar.  But the Blues have lost in the first round of the playoffs for three years in row, even when they were the favorite to win the Cup.  And it was the Blackhawks who did it to them last year.  This year is big even if they don’t win another game.  But I think it is significant that they have taken out the biggest roadblock to victory already.  There is hope.

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The Blues

Down again… oh, oh, oh, down deep and so blue again…
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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;

http://blues.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=39464

berenson5I 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.

photos from the St. Lpuis Blues home page and Arch City Sports

photos from the St. Louis Blues home page and Arch City Sports

264981_10151027767713661_1898205283_n 293820_10151154315328661_558373598_nWe 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.

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