Glove’n it: Hand pass a pivotal moment in Blues’ Cup run

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Craig Berube made a uncommon stop in the locker room after the game to deal with his gamers. It was essential.

It was minutes after San Jose’s Timo Meier had gloved the puck to Gustav Nyquist and wound up being credited with the second help on Erik Karlsson’s profitable aim in Recreation 3. It was a blatant missed call, however it was over. St. Louis was all of a sudden down 2-1 in the Western Conference ultimate.

Berube advised his gamers to overlook about it, to not whine about it in interviews, and he set the tone after the game.

“Gotta transfer on,” Berube stated that night time. “All of us gotta transfer on from it and prepare for Recreation four. Really that’s all you can do.”

Following the lead of their interim coach, the Blues did precisely that and their response embodied all the things a few group that rode an unheralded rookie goaltender and a bruising type from final place within the NHL in January to Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup Remaining in Boston.

“That was a thing that sort of showed our id as a workforce,” defenseman Carl Gunnarsson stated hours earlier than Recreation 6 towards the Bruins. “How we did not just crumble beneath that — not just let it go, but we additionally become our benefit. We used that as gasoline for the upcoming recreation. I feel that speaks a ton of this staff.”

It speaks to every little thing concerning the Blues’ journey. After lacking the 2018 playoffs by one level, basic supervisor Doug Armstrong loaded up: He signed forwards Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Patrick Maroon and backup goaltender Chad Johnson, traded first- and second-spherical picks, prime prospect Tage Thompson and roster players Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund to Buffalo for Ryan O’Reilly.

That was a pivotal second within the eyes of longtime Blues defenseman Chris Butler, a St. Louis native.

“Growing up right here, the teams have been all the time good, but the Stanley Cup was never really in the query,” Butler stated. “It was, let’s make it 25 years in a row where they have been just going to make the playoffs and everyone was sort of proud of that. After which you will have a yr there the place you missed the playoffs, and then the bar was raised this summer time.

“You usher in Ryan O’Reilly, you usher in Tyler Bozak, you make some massive, gutsy-sort trades and acquisitions and struggling for the primary handful of months, then issues started to click on and guys type of discovered their position, found their spot and it’s been enjoyable as hell to be part of.”

The group was mired in final place six months ago, however a bond was cast during a midseason stretch of 70 days with out consecutive residence games. Season-defining moments soon started piling up:

An evening after five players heard “Gloria” repeatedly at a Philadelphia bar, Jordan Binnington began his ascension from fourth-stringer at coaching camp to beginning goalie by posting a shutout in his first NHL begin. A franchise-document 11-recreation profitable streak. St. Louis native Patrick Maroon with the game-profitable help in the playoff opener the day after his grandfather died….

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