The Boston Bruins are back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. With the appearance, the Bruins are looking to win their seventh cup in franchise history. Standing in their way of another championship are the Western Conference champions — the St. Louis Blues.
Boston defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes to get back to the Final. The Bruins enter the Cup Final as the favorite, having the edge in experience. They’re also well rested after sweeping the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final.
St. Louis returns to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 after defeating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 in the Western Conference Final. As great as the Blues’ story has been, it’ll come crashing down starting Monday.
Similar to last year’s champions, the Washington Capitals, it feels like destiny’s in favor of the Blues. However, the feel-good story will end in heartbreak as St. Louis is running into a juggernaut. Boston already destroyed another inspirational run to the Cup Final when it swept Carolina. Besides, this title run for Boston could be defenseman Zdeno Chara’s last chance to lift the cup one last time, so Boston will be motivated to see its captain off in the right way.
Boston averages 3.35 goals per game in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and allows only 1.94 goals per game. St Louis averages 3.00 goals per game and limits opponents to 2.53 goals per game. Another key advantage Boston has over St Louis is the power play. Boston is 34% percent on the power play compared to 19.4% for St Louis.
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak are important to Boston’s quest for a seventh Stanley Cup. During the 2019 playoffs, they’ve combined for 22 goals and 24 assists for a total of 46 points, with Marchand leading the team with 18. While the Blues have the advantage on defense, it’s going to be almost impossible for the Blues with players like Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko to shut down one of the top lines in all of hockey.
One of the biggest reasons why Boston is four wins away from another championship is goaltender Tuukka Rask. So far in the playoffs, Rask has gone 12-5 and compiled a .942 save percentage. He also has more playoff experience than any Blues goalie and has a Stanley Cup on his resume. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis’ goaltender, has performed well for the Blues during their run, but Game one will be an indication if he can handle the pressure of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Bruins will have home-ice advantage heading into the Stanley Cup Final, and TD Garden will be loud when the puck drops, making a stage that may be too big for the Blues to handle. Unlike its opponents, Boston knows how to win the big one. This series will be entertaining and physical, but this series will end in five games with Boston celebrating yet another championship.
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