St. Louis Blues Snap Stanley Cup Final Losing Streak


Now in their fourth Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history, the St. Louis Blues managed to win a game, needing overtime to defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday to knot up the best-of-seven-series at one game per team.

Including this year’s series opener, the win snapped an incredible 0-13 start after getting swept by the Canadiens in 1968 and 1969 and then the Bruins in 1970.

They’ll need three more wins, however, to win the series. And on Saturday, they’ll have to try to start that process without skilled winger Oskar Sundqvist, who was suspended for one game by the National Hockey League for a hit on Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk that was only given a two-minute boarding minor at the time, but knocked Grzelcyk out for the rest of the game and perhaps future games this series.

“It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree, that’s just a league thing and they handled it, so it’s over with,” Blues head coach Craig Berube told reporters in St. Louis on Friday.

“We miss a lot [with him out], he’s a good player,” Berube continued. “He does a lot of good things for us on both sides of the puck; good penalty killer, plays center, wing, great defensively, and has produced for us, in the playoffs too. Good player.”

Sundqvist, 25, was originally dealt to the Blues from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2017 NHL Draft, and finally established himself as a full-time NHL’er this season by setting career-highs in games played (74), goals (14), assists (17), and points (31). Although he’d previously won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016, it was primarily as a spare part—he only played in two postseason games following a late-season recall—and he didn’t see any playoff action at all in 2017.

Based on practice reports from Friday afternoon, Zach Sanford will slide into the lineup for Sundqvist. Notably, Sanford is a Massachusetts native, but will now likely be relied upon to provide a spark against the Bruins in Sundqvist’s absence.

The Boston College alum spent the majority of this season in the NHL, save for a seven-game stint with the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage, and posted an 8-12—20 line in 60 regular season games. He’s also appeared in three playoff contests—but not since Game 3 of the first round against the Winnipeg Jets—but was kept off the scoresheet in relatively limited ice time.

“I haven’t made that decision yet, but he was out there on a line today,” Berube said.

“He’s played in the playoffs for us this year, too, but we’ll see what happens [Saturday]. We’ll make a decision [Saturday] on that.”

On the flip side of the controversial hit, Grzelcyk wasn’t expected to travel with the Bruins to St. Louis and will be replaced by either John Moore or Steven Kampfer, with the former being a more likely choice than the latter, due to being a left-handed shot like Grzelcyk. 

“That's the easiest thing, keep everyone on their strong sides,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters on Thursday, reiterating what he said after Game 2.

“We'll look at that a little bit more … [and] ultimately decide Saturday. Friday’s practice will be a bigger indicator.”

Grzelcyk was listed as “doubtful” by Cassidy on Friday, and said Moore, who was skating in Grzelcyk’s place alongside Connor Clifton during practice, will “probably” replace him.

Moore, 28, has bounced around the league a bit after being selected 21st overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets—the Bruins mark his fifth organization—but he’s managed to establish himself as a veteran depth option at the game’s highest level. Moore played in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Rangers, and posted a respectable 4-9—13 line in 61 regular season games with the Bruins this season.

He’s appeared in five postseason games this year, but only one—Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes—since the Bruins opening-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“This is why you train, why you prepare, why you take care of yourself,” Moore told reporters on Friday. 

“When you’re called upon, it’s time to do your job. That’s kind of the mentality we’ve had all year, next man up. So, now it’s my turn. I’m ready to go.”

2019-20 Atlantic Hockey Schedule Release: Army

Last year they gave the eventual champs, AIC, a run for their money as they pushed their quarterfinal series to three games. 

2019-20 Atlantic Hockey Schedule Release: Air Force

Air Force came up just short of advancing to the second round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs a season ago, but was ultimately defeated by Niagara in both of games of their series. 

By The Numbers: UMass Can Live Up To Expectations

Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Greg Carvel has shown what patience can bring in sports, leading his team from a five-win season in 2017-18 to NCAA runners-up in 2018-19.

Alaska Hockey Great Don Lucia Goes Back To The Future

Don Lucia has found retired bliss up in the Last Frontier. 

2019-20 Atlantic Hockey Schedule Release: AIC

The returning Atlantic Hockey champions have brand new slate of opponents in front of them who will be champing at the bit to knock off the top dogs. 

Connections Remain Between Chris Bergeron & Ty Eigner

When Bowling Green realtor Keri Buff awoke to a sun-drenched morning at the end of July, she knew it would be a Friday like no other. Despite being “quiet season” in the world of residential real estate, she had two closings on her docket that morning, emotional transactions that signaled a historic changing of the guard in Bowling Green hockey.

By The Numbers: Bowling Green Set For Success

After nine seasons at the helm of the Bowling Green Falcons, head coach Chris Bergeron left the program to coach at his alma mater, Miami University, but new coach Ty Eigner inherits a team set for success in the 2019-20 season.

No Change For WCHA's Alaska Teams In 2019-20

This past weekend, the WCHA’s tumultuous offseason generated the first news of stability. 

Joe Shawhan Says To Spread His Ashes All Over The Upper Peninsula

Hockey is the lifeblood of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan is king of Yooper puck. A goaltender raised in the American Sault, Shawhan has spent more than two decades coaching each of the three Division I schools on the Peninsula: 13 years at Lake Superior State, three at Northern Michigan, and five at Michigan Tech—the last two his first seasons as a Division I head coach. 

120 Women's WCHA Games Live On FloHockey

Another incredible list of WCHA women's games will be shown live this season on FloHockey!