Many sports analysts said it wouldn’t be done.
Many Blackhawks fans said it couldn’t be done.
But it got done.
The St. Louis Blues knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champions on Monday night at the Scottrade Center, with a 3-2 victory that advances them to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
With less than a minute remaining in Game 7, the Blackhawks were fighting, in the style of a full-frontal assault. They did everything and anything they could just to score and tie the game, after their former teammate Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal for the Blues midway through the third period.
The Blues, however, were more than prepared. Especially goalie Brian Elliott, who was phenomenal this series for St. Louis, finally getting his long-awaited shot to be the number one guy between the pipes.
Elliott held off the ‘Hawks long enough in the end for the Blues to shoot the puck across center ice, back the opposite way. At that moment, the Scottrade Center exploded, and the voice of the Blues, John Kelly proudly exclaimed on live television: “They’re gonna do it! We beat the Blackhawks”.
Emotions ran wild across the city for so many reasons.
First, because it wasn’t just a seven-game playoff series between two teams. It was a war between rivals. On one side there were the defending champions, who have won three Stanley Cup titles in the past six years, reigning supreme in the NHL. On the other side were a team constantly made fun of for their lack of playoff success, coaching, and perceived “waste of talent”. To knock off a defending Stanley Cup Champion for the first time in franchise history in the playoffs was a big statement that needed to be made.
However, there’s an even bigger reason it was an emotional win.
Just a few months ago, the city of St. Louis helplessly watched as the Rams left for Los Angeles, once again leaving The Gateway City without a professional football team. That struck a chord in the hearts of people in the area, whether they enjoyed football or not. They felt betrayed, and without the Rams, only the Cardinals and Blues remained. Of course, no one can deny the history of success the Cardinals have, but for the Blues, it’s a different story.
To not only beat the Chicago Blackhawks, but for them to do so the way they did, through heart, grit, and hardcore hockey, the series was truly a sight to behold. And now, the Blues will face off against the Dallas Stars starting this Friday, looking to continue their climb to the top, which is nearly half a century in the making.
So enjoy the moment, St. Louis.
It may not have been the Stanley Cup Finals.
But it sure as hell felt like it.