BOSTON — It started in September, ended in June. The journey of the St. Louis Blues’ 2018-19 NHL season took many twists and turns, but ultimately ended the way they envisioned it — as Stanley Cup champions.
Every champion has a story, and the Blues are no different. Theirs is one of a remarkable turnaround, a goaltender who played himself into a star, the local boy who came home to deliver a championship, a coach who made the most out of a second chance, and a veteran defenseman who found success of many levels of hockey, except the NHL. Then you had Laila, “Gloria,” Jon Hamm and “Pam,” and retired anthem singer Charles Glenn.
It was a collective of characters who further enriched the Blues’ road to success. And now they finally have the spotlight in a city that needed a boost.
“It’s a city of champions,” said native St. Louisan Patrick Maroon. “[The St. Louis] Cardinals had something special going. Now the Blues have something special going.”
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The St. Louis fan base has waited 52 years to celebrate a Stanley Cup title. They’ve watched as the Cardinals won 11 World Series titles and the Rams won Super Bowl XXIV and then leave for Los Angeles 16 years later. For decades they endured as the Blues did well enough to put together a 25-season streak of making the playoffs, only to fall short of winning the championship each and every time. They’ve had to watch Bobby Orr fly through the air hundreds of thousands of as a reminder of their third straight Cup Final defeat in 1970.
But now the memories will be ones of their own. The goals, the saves, the moments that encompass this season which could have gone south, but was resurrected January following changes behind the bench and in the crease.
When the championship DVD is released this summer, there will be plenty of stories to tell about the 2018-19 St. Louis Blues. It was a rollercoaster of a season, but now that the ride is finally over, the Blues can say they are champions. And now there will finally be a parade in St. Louis where the Blues are the champions.
“I can’t wait,” said Maroon. “Probably millions of people. I can’t wait to celebrate with our fans, they deserve more than anyone.”
MORE BLUES STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• Jay Bouwmeester finally gets his Stanley Cup
• Blues fan Laila Anderson gets moment with Stanley Cup
• Ryan O’Reilly wins Conn Smythe Trophy
• Berube helped Blues find identity after early-season struggle
• Blues latest team erased from Stanley Cup drought list