It took 49 years, but Blues are back in finals

Orr

Bobby Orr made the Blues disappear from the 1970 Stanley Cup finals with this overtime goal. St. Louis hasn’t been back since.

For the first time in 49 years, the St. Louis Blues are back in the finals, where they will face off against the Boston Bruins.

The last time the Blues played in the finals, they were victimized by Bobby Orr’s overtime winner, the great defenseman soaring through the air to celebrate the most iconic goal in Bruins history.

For the Blues, it has been a long, agonizing ride back to the Stanley Cup finals. Amazingly, this year the team got off to a horrible start before roaring back to become the first team in more than 20 years to earn a playoff spot after sitting last in the NHL on New Year’s Day.

The Blues were one of six teams that joined the NHL in 1967, doubling the size of the league and marking the largest expansion in the history of pro sports in North America.

Along with St. Louis, the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Oakland Seals (later the California Golden Seals) represented the NHL West in the inaugural year. The Flyers, Penguins, Kings and North Stars (as the Dallas Stars) have all won Stanley Cups. The Blues and the Seals (who became defunct after the 1977-78 season as the Cleveland Barons) haven’t.

The Blues made the Stanley Cup finals in each of their first three years, and were swept all three times.

1967-68 – Beat Flyers and North Stars, both in 7 games. Lost to Montreal 3-2 (OT), 1-0, 4-3 (OT) and 3-2, a series in which two games went into overtime and all four were decided by a single goal.

1968-69 – Swept both Flyers and Kings, then were swept by Montreal, 3-1, 3-1, 4-0 and 2-1.

1969-70 – Beat both Stars and Penguins in six games only to bow to the Bruins in 4 straight. Boston won the first three games 6-1, 6-2 and 4-1. The fourth game went into overtime after the Bruins rallied in the third period to tie the game on a late goal by Johnny Bucyk.

The Bruins then won 4-3 at 40 seconds of overtime on Bobby Orr’s scintillating goal. Orr scored off a feed from Derek Sanderson, beating goalie Glenn Hall and giving the Bruins their first championship since 1941.

The following season the league began juggling conferences. The Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres, both expansion teams, were added to the Eastern Conference and the Chicago Black Hawks moved to the West.

RELATED POSTS

Gretzky was great but Orr was the greatest

Video of BOBBY ORR’S GOAL



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s