…from the NY Times….
When their proximity to the inconceivable can be measured in months or years instead of mere days or weeks, the members of the St. Louis Blues will reflect upon one of the most extraordinary moments of not only their lives, or the team’s 52 years in the N.H.L., but also the two and a half centuries since a pair of fur traders settled the city along the western banks of the Mississippi River.
Yet even with proper detachment, they might wonder whether this all wasn’t some icy mirage: Did the Blues, after ranking last in the 31-team league in early January, actually win the Stanley Cup?
Yes, the Blues won the Stanley Cup.
Never before Wednesday night could that sentence be written, and so again: The Blues won the Stanley Cup.
After failing to clinch at home on Sunday, the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-1, in Game 7 at TD Garden, muzzling a crowd raring to see yet another coronation in a city spoiled by championships.
On the same stretch of Causeway Street where their last appearance in the Cup finals cratered 49 years ago, the Blues — who had missed the playoffs only nine times since the team’s inaugural 1967-68 season but had never savored their ecstatic conclusion — completed the most improbable in-season turnabout in N.H.L. history.
To punctuate it, the Blues won a third straight game in Boston for a 6-0 record on the road after a loss in this postseason.
Had anyone outside the Blues’ locker room scanned the standings on Jan. 3 — four days before goalie Jordan Binnington made his first N.H.L. start — and predicted that the team would be hoisting the Cup five months later, that person would have been greeted with uproarious laughter.
No team before these Blues had gone from last place in the N.H.L. after its 20th game to winning the Cup in the same season, and St. Louis — on the morning of Jan. 3, after 37 games, or 45 percent of its schedule — was the worst of the worst…..
image…Brayden Schenn and the Blues played a bruising form of hockey, helping push them past the more experienced Bruins.CreditMichael Dwyer/Associated Press