The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.
Adversity has never been too far from the St. Louis Blues or the Dallas Stars.
Neither team was all that good as the current year was ushered in. At no point then did anyone believe both teams would be squaring off in a Game 7 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live stream) with a trip to the Western Conference Final on the line.
But here we are.
The Blues have overcome a lot this season. They were dead last in the NHL in the first week of January only to finish third in the conference and outlast the two teams ahead of them in the standings — including knocking the second-place Winnipeg Jets out in Round 1.
St. Louis silenced the doubters against the Jets and have continued to do so in Round 2 against Dallas, with Sunday’s 4-1 win in Game 6 alleviating any concern that the Blues couldn’t perform with the chips stacked against them.
The Blues will face elimination a second time, but perhaps with a dash of momentum on their side knowing they were able to get to Ben Bishop (both through a nasty clap bomb that rattled off his collarbone) and on the score sheet as they chased the Vezina finalist.
Bishop has been Dallas’ best player on numerous nights this season, but the prospect of heading into Game 7 without him is a real worry. Depending on who you believe, Bishop is either 100 percent ready to go, or there’s a real worry Anton Khudobin may have to start in his place.
Both Bishop and Stars coach Jim Montgomery seemed at ease with his status, but coaches are hardly truthful in the postseason.
The Stars dropped four straight games in the middle of December and then again in the middle of January. Some tough comments were made from the higher-ups in Dallas and from there the Stars seemed to refocus, working their way into a comfortable spot in the first wildcard.
Bishop has been a huge part of that turnaround and late-season injuries have come with disastrous consequences for playoff teams he’s been a part of it.
What is certain is that the Stars need the type of bounce-back that the Blues showed in Game 6. Regardless of how the third period went on Sunday, the Stars have to focus on the task at hand.
The Blues were booed off the ice at Enterprise Center after the second period in Game 5 and have won just two of their six home games this postseason.
That’s just more doubt for the Blues to put in its place. Or, it’s crack that the Stars can exploit.
We’ll know soon enough.