NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights. Today, we give our memories from the the 2019 Cup Final between the Blues and Bruins.
JAMES: If you asked a hockey fan — even a hardcore one, maybe even a hardcore Bruins fan — which three players topped Boston in scoring for the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, most would only get one right. If that hypothetical fan sniffed out a trap, maybe they’d go Meatloaf and get two out of three.
But I doubt many would know the full three without the magic of Internet research.
Through seven games, Torey Krug topped all Bruins with six points. That’s not expected, yet it’s also not earth-shattering. Brad Marchand being tied for second with five points would only be surprising in that you’d expect more from the prolifically productive pest.
Your last name might need to be Kuraly to realize that Sean Kuraly tied Brad Marchand for second in scoring during that series.
Naturally, one might first react with “Wow, the Bruins’ top line really ran out of gas” or, fairer to the Blues, “Wow, St. Louis found a way to slow down the Bruins’ top scorers.” Yes, there were some crises of confidence for Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and especially David Pastrnak.
Even so, it’s pretty cool that Kuraly helped the Bruins hang in there with an early surge.
Through the first three games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, he scored two game-winning goals (both of Boston’s winners in taking an early 2-1 series lead) and two assists for four points. While Kuraly only managed an assist over the remaining four games of the 2019 SCF, he opened the door for the Bruins to shake off star slumps.
It’s the sort of performance that gets lionized if a team wins it all. Instead, Kuraly’s boost will probably only stick in the memories of hockey savants (and also totally cool people like me *laughs nervously).
SEAN: There were so many different parts to the Blues’ resurrection last season. One of them was the story of Laila Anderson. She was the team’s inspiration, and seeing her on the ice after their Game 7 win and lifting the Cup with help from Colton Parayko was fitting end to a great story.
— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 13, 2019
JAKE: The final score of last year’s Game 7 doesn’t tell the full story. Yes, the Blues won 4-1, but were it not for Jordan Binnington’s performance in the first period, the outcome would have been much different.
Consider this: Jaden Schwartz took the game’s first shot 27 seconds in. For the next 16 minutes, the Blues didn’t record a shot on goal, while Boston peppered Binnington to no avail.
Eventually, the Blues had an extended shift in Bruins territory and broke the ice on Ryan O’Reilly’s tip-in with just over three minutes to go in the period. Then Alex Pietrangelo doubled the lead just before the buzzer. That was all the offense St. Louis would need.
The first period shot clock was 12-4 in favor of the Bruins. Binnington was the primary reason why the scoreboard didn’t favor them as well.
NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights, beginning on Monday, June 8.
Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Sunday, June 14 on NBCSN
• 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7: St. Louis vs. Boston – 10 p.m. ET
• 2019 St. Louis Blues Championship Film – 11:30 p.m. ET
• 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7: St. Louis vs. Boston – 12:30 a.m. ET
• #HockeyAtHome: 2019 St. Louis Blues Virtual Reunion – 2 a.m. ET
• Top 10: Stanley Cup Moments – 2:30 a.m. ET