Sorry for the depressing poll question, Blues fans. I just feel like this team doesn’t get enough respect when there’s a debate on tortured fan bases.
Not that the Blues’ faithful has suffered like, say, fans of the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908. But consider:
— In the NHL, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone as long without winning the Stanley Cup as the Blues. Toronto last won it in 1967. The Blues, of course, have never won the Cup since entering the league for the 1967-68 season.
— The Blues went to the Stanley Cup Final in the first three years of their existence, thanks in large part to the NHL’s expansion format that had all six new teams in one division. In 1968 and 1969, they were swept by Montreal in the final. In 1970, they were swept by the Boston Bruins, with the winning goal by Bobby Orr producing one of the most famous sports images ever.
— The Blues made the playoffs 25 straight times from 1980 to 2004. The best they could muster during that impressive streak was two trips to the conference finals, in 1986 and 2001, where they lost in seven to Calgary and five to Colorado, respectively.
— The Blues won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1999-2000, finishing with a record of 51-19-11-1. They then proceeded to get upset by San Jose in the first round.
— Since 2002, the Blues have won a grand total of one — yep, one — playoff series. This despite making the postseason six times, twice after 100-plus-point seasons, which includes last season.
OK, time to vote. If I’ve omitted a particularly painful playoff moment, please share in the comments section.
Update: Totally whiffed on the Steve Yzerman goal in 1996. What can I say? There have been a lot of tough losses for St. Louis. To be fair, that ’96 Blues team didn’t have a great regular-season record, and beating Detroit would’ve been a massive upset. They did have Wayne Gretzky, though. So I blew it. Apologies.