The first game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins takes place on Monday, May 27, at TD Garden in Boston (8:00 pm ET).
Opening Odds for Game 1
The Bruins opened as -160 favorites for Game 1 on home ice, while the Blues were around +145 on the moneyline, despite being a sterling 7-2 on the road this playoffs.
The line has since moved a little in St. Louis’ favor at most sportsbooks.
Stanley Cup History
The Bruins will be gunning for their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history. Their last championship came in 2011 when they beat the Vancouver Canucks in a seven-game classic. Their last finals appearance came two years later (2013) when they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2.
The Blues, on the other hand, are hoping to capture the first championship in their 52-year history. They’re making their first appearance in the finals since 1970.
The Blues … are hoping to capture the first championship in their 52-year history.
The Blues made three straight finals appearances from 1968-70, immediately after the league expanded to 12 teams. But with the NHL divided into the Original Six in the East Division and the expansion teams in the West, there was a huge imbalance of power in the finals.
The Blues didn’t even win a single game as the West representative, getting swept 4-0 all three years. But that’s ancient history. This year’s Blues have been arguably the best team in the league since the calendar flipped to 2019.
How Did St. Louis Get Here?
The Blues started the playoffs on fire, earning a pair of impressive road wins over Winnipeg in round one. They stumbled in Games 3 and 4 on home-ice, but then rebounded to take the series in six.
In round two, Craig Berube’s squad met a surging Dallas team that had just upset Nashville. St. Louis jumped out to 1-0 and 2-1 series leads, but wound up needing the full seven games to squeak past Vezina favorite Ben Bishop.
Hometown hero Patrick Maroon, who seemed destined for the scrapheap short months ago, scored the series-winner in OT in Game 7.
The Blues caught something of a break in the conference finals, facing a severely banged-up San Jose team with lackluster goaltending.
After Jordan Binnington was lit up for 12 goals in the first three games of the series, the rookie goalie hit the turbo button, leading St. Louis back from a 2-1 deficit to take the series in six games.
Binnington allowed just two goals over the final 180 minutes [versus San Jose], stopping 75 of 77 shots.
Binnington allowed just two goals over the final 180 minutes, stopping 75 of 77 shots. The team in front of him clamped down considerably, a task made much easier by San Jose’s depleted roster.
Jaden Schwartz has led the Blues at the offensive end all playoffs, potting 12 goals (T 2nd) and 16 points in 19 games. Regular-season leaders Ryan O’Reilly (3 G, 11 P) and Vladimir Tarasenko (8G, 13 P) have been productive, as well, while Alex Pietrangelo (2G, 13 P, 25:32 TOI) has anchored the defense and even emerged as a dark-horse Conn Smythe contender.
Blues vs Bruins Statistical Comparison
|45-28-9 (21-13-7 away)||Reg. Season Record||49-24-9 (29-9-3 home)|
|12-7 (7-2 away)||Playoff Record||12-5 (6-3 home)|
|3.0 (15th)||Goals Per Game (Reg. Season)||3.13 (11th)|
|3.0 (3rd)||Goals Per Game (Playoffs)||3.4 (2nd)|
|2.60 (T 5th)||Goals Against Per Game (Reg. Season)||2.59 (T 3rd)|
|2.42(5th)||Goals Against Per Game (Playoffs)||1.88 (1st)|
|52.10 (7th)||Fenwick % (Reg. Season)||52.89 (5th)|
|51.32 (6th)||Fenwick % (Playoffs)||50.42 (8th)|
|90.62 (16th)||Save % (Reg. Season)||91.23 (7th)|
|91.09 (8th)||Save % (Playoffs)||94.00 (1st)|
|54.34 (5th)||High-Danger Chances % (Reg. Season)||51.14 (14th)|
|47.28 (13th)||High-Danger Chances % (Playoffs)||53.44 (5th)|
How Did Boston Get Here?
The Bruins have been more and more impressive as the playoffs have worn on. They sputtered early against Toronto, falling behind 3-2 in the series before winning in seven. Goalie Tuukka Rask was not on his game in the early going, giving up 12 goals in the first four games versus Toronto.
Since Game 5 of that series, though, the Finn has been lights-out. He’s only surrendered more than two goals in regulation once in the past 13 games (Game 5 vs Columbus).
In Boston’s six-game triumph over Columbus, Rask was at his very best in the deciding game, stopping all 39 shots he faced in a 3-0 win.
Rolling into the Eastern Conference finals on a three-game win streak, the Bruins managed to find another, even higher gear.
Boston steamrolled Carolina 4-0, outscoring the Hurricanes 17-5. They have now won seven straight games and outscored their opponents 28-9 in that span.
Boston [has won] seven straight games and outscored their opponents 28-9 in that span.
Boston has only lost one game by more than a single goal all postseason, and that was the very first game of round one (4-1 vs Toronto).
The leaders on the Boston side are who you would expect. The top line of Brad Marchand (7 G, 18 P), David Pastrnak (7 G, 15 P, and Patrice Bergeron (8 G, 13 P) are 1-2-3 in goals for the team, while second-line center David Krejci (4 G, 14 P) has regained some of his 2014 form and provided indispensable depth.
Deadline acquisition Charlie Coyle has also been huge, scoring six goals, most of them in high-leverage situations.