Stanley Cup Rematch – Nearly Fifty Years in the Making

Stanley Cup Rematch – Nearly Fifty Years in the Making

The lasting image of the 1970 Stanley Cup was the iconic photo of Bobby Orr flying through the
air after scoring the winning overtime goal that clinched the series and brought the Cup back to
Boston. Bobby Orr was, and remains, the greatest hockey player ever to grace the ice in Boston
and arguably the best ever to don a pair of skates. All Orr needed was a cape to complete the
picture now known simply as, The Goal. The betting odds on the Bruins back then were
certainly higher than the -150 the best online sportsbooks, found over at Sportsbook Review,
are dealing on the 2019 Boston edition.
An interesting footnote to that series sweep is that the Blues used three goalies, due to Jacque
Plante taking a screaming drive off the stick of Freddie Stanfield, which was subsequently
deflected, and split Plante’s mask down the middle. Plante was knocked out of the game and
never seen again in the series, being replaced by the overwhelmed Ernie Wakely. It wouldn’t
take long for St. Louis coach Scotty Bowman to give Shaky Wakely the hook and replace him in
Games 3 and 4 with Glenn Hall, who was in the sunset of his brilliant career.
But now here we are again, and the Big Bad Bruins of 1970 are now in their golden years while
some are, unfortunately, on the other side of the grass. This 2019 iteration is favored to win
this rematch so long in the making but predicting a series sweep may be a bit optimistic. The
Blues are resilient, gritty, and feature a solid corps of blueliners capable of shutting down even
the best offenses. In addition, the Blues are not afraid of playing in hostile territory as
evidenced by their 7-2 road mark during the playoffs and were 21-13-7 on the highway during
the regular season.
But what St. Louis doesn’t have is a steel curtain in the crease, and as good as rookie Jordan
Binnington has been playing
, he’s not been nearly as dominating as Boston’s Tuukka Rask. The
Boston netminder has won his last seven games and boasts a sizzling 1.84 goals against average
complemented by a .942 save percentage over his 17 postseason starts. He has also recorded
two shutouts and is the leading candidate to take home the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to
the most valuable player during the playoffs.
In deference to the stat geeks out there, the Bruins lead the Blues over the course of the
postseason in all four of the major categories. Boston is scoring 3.35 goals per game versus 3.00
for the Blues, 1.94 GAA vs. 2.52 GAA, 34 percent power play success vs. 19.3, and an 86.3 kill
rate on penalties versus 78 percent for St. Louis.
Despite all the good omens for Boston, there has been speculation from some of the “hot-
takers” out there who make a living on contrived, contrarian opinions. And in that vein, their
narrative speaks to the exorbitant length of time away the Bruins have had from live
competition due to their expedient expulsion of the Carolina Hurricanes from the Eastern

Conference Finals. But this team is different, and there will be no malaise when the puck is
dropped on Monday night. These teams split their two regular season games with Boston
taking the first 5-2 followed a month later by the Blues avenging their loss in a 2-1 shootout
victory. There will be no shootouts in this series and when the dust settles, Boston will be
hoisting the Stanley Cup on June 3 rd , in front of a dejected St. Louis crowd frantically searching
for the exit doors of the Enterprise Center. That’s right, just like the last time, 49 years ago, the Bruins will sweep and another championship will come to Titletown.

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