The Blues were the last place team on January 1st.
Hockey on a hip-hop website is a rare sight but when you consider what the St. Louis Blues accomplished this season, it's only right that they are given their due praise. On January 1st, the Blues were a joke of a team. They were last place and had no hope to even think about making it to the playoffs. That's when the team made a drastic change at the goaltender position, replacing Jake Allen with 25-year-old minor league goalie Jordan Binnington. Binnington was an immediate success with the Blues and dug them out of a huge hole as he led them to the playoffs.
The Blues went on to eliminate the Winnipeg Jets, the Dallas Stars, and the San Jose Sharks en route to the Stanley Cup Finals. The only team left in their way was the mighty Boston Bruins who were dominant this season. Binnington went toe-to-toe with Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in what ended up being a seven-game series. In Game 7 last night, Binnington stood on his head as the Blues managed a 4-1 victory, upsetting the B's and earning their first Stanley Cup since entering the league in 1968.
Admittedly, I was skeptical that the Blues could pull it off. Not because they didn't have the will to do so, but because the Bruins have a championship pedigree thanks to a team of experienced veterans. Instead, the Blues proved to the world what a great story they have been this season. They showed the sports world what parity looks like and you can't help but feel a sort of satisfaction to see such a team hoist one of the greatest trophies in sports.
There will certainly be one commenter who will tell me I was wrong about my prediction yesterday and honestly, I'm glad I was wrong. It was a fairy tale end to fairy tale season for a team and fan base that had suffered for far too long.