Stanley Cup Finals Game 7: Boston 1 – Blues 4
The greatest words in the world, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and for the first time since the 1984 NBA Finals where Larry Bird led the Celtics over the Lakers it is in Boston. The Bruins got off to a strong start as they were by far the better team in the first period holding the Blues to four shots on goal. However, Jordan Binnington was just awesome in the period. He made at least four great saves in the period where the Bruins could have gone out to a 3-0 lead early. The Bruins would not beat him in the period though, and the Blues would take advantage of opportunities. Later in the first period, the Blues would get their first shot on goal since the opening minutes and who else, but Ryan O’Reilly would get a tip in front and beat Tuukka Rask. As the period was coming to a close, the Bruins had a chance to get a shot but the puck was turned over, and Brad Marchand skated to the bench with 10 seconds to go, but by doing so he let the Blues player enter the zone uncontested and Alex Pietrangelo would score and make it 2-0.
In the second period, the momentum had clearly shifted towards the Blues. Jordan Binnington would be unbeatable yet again and the Blues would try to put the pressure on. Fortunately for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask was also on his game and with help from the crossbar and the stick of Zdeno Chara, it remained tied after two periods. After 40 minutes in this game the shots read 23-10 in favor of the Bruins, but they were not attacking the net as much in this period as the first. Binnington has given up juicy rebounds throughout this series and with no bodies in front, they become meaningless rebounds. In the first period the Bruins were much better at attacking the net, something changed in the second period.
In the third period, the disappointment set it. Time was winding down faster and faster and Jordan Binnington was still nails in the goal. Every time the Bruins looked like they might finally get on the board, Binnington would make an incredible save, over and over again. Midway through the period, Vladamir Tarasenko would find Brayden Schenn to make it a 3-0 game quieting the crowd to nothing. To make matters worse, the Bruins couldn’t get Tuukka out of the net for the extra attacker fast enough and the Blues scored a fourth goal to secure the win. Matt Grzelcyk would score with minutes remaining but it meant nothing other than the B’s weren’t shut out in this one.
I know people are going to blame Tuukka again for now losing two Stanley Cups, but Tuukka is the reason the Bruins had a chance at two Stanley Cups, especially this year. He was the best Bruin throughout the playoffs and for most of the year. But in this game it was all about Jordan Binnington. I don’t think I have seen a performance like the one he put on in this game, ever. He may not win the Conn Smythe, but he deserves the first star for this game. Here are some of his highlights from one of the best performances in Stanley Cup Finals history.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues on their first Stanley Cup in team history. It was well deserved and from being in last place in the NHL on January 3rd, to Stanley Cup winners is one of the most incredible turn arounds ever.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com