The St. Louis Blues shall be on house ice tonight for Sport 6 of the Western Convention Closing in opposition to the San Jose Sharks. In the event that they win, they are going to advance to their first Stanley Cup Closing since 1970, to face the identical staff that they did then, the Boston Bruins.
Whereas a Stanley Cup look could be large for the franchise, it could even be a life-changing alternative for the gamers. Just one participant on the Blues roster has performed for the Cup: David Perron, who did it with the Vegas Golden Knights final season, whereas one different (Oskar Sundqvist) has performed for a championship staff although he didn’t play within the closing spherical. Each different participant is in search of their first alternative however a couple of veterans have been ready longer than most.
Alex Steen: A Household Affair
For Alexander Steen, a Stanley Cup championship could be not solely a private achievement, however the achievement of a household dream. Steen’s father, Thomas, is a Winnipeg Jets legend and performed all however two seasons throughout its authentic NHL run. The elder Steen performed 950 video games within the NHL, scored 817 factors, and had his quantity retired by the Jets, however like his son, by no means had the possibility to play for the Cup.
Alexander Steen is the spitting picture of his father on and off the ice. The pair have performed over 1900 common season NHL video games and not using a shot on the Stanley Cup. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
The youthful Steen has now surpassed his father in video games performed with 963 profession regular-season video games and 605 factors to his credit score, most of them with the Blues. He was traded to St. Louis in 2009 together with Carlo Colaiacovo in one of many higher trades in franchise historical past.
Since then, he has been a centerpiece for the Blues, constantly scoring double-digit objectives, with 4 seasons of 20-plus objectives and one season surpassing 30. He’s additionally obtained votes for the Selke Trophy seven instances and has been one of many Blues’ alternate captains since 2011.
But, like his father, Steen has by no means had the chance to play for the Cup. With a win on Tuesday or Thursday evening, Alex will get an opportunity to satisfy a dream his household has held for nearly 40 years.
Jay Bouwmeester: Years of Ready
Although Jay Bouwmeester is not any much less deserving of a Cup alternative. Although he was the third-overall decide in 2002, he solely performed in a single postseason sport earlier than he was traded to the Blues in 2013.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has logged 1184 profession common season video games with out Stanley Cup alternative (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports activities)
All advised, Bouwmeester has performed 1184 profession regular-season video games with the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, and Blues, logging 415 factors in that point. He has the ninth longest consecutive video games performed streak in NHL historical past, with 737 consecutive video games from 2004 to 2014.
It’s a powerful resume, however one which gained’t be full with out that final nice achievement. Bouwmeester is sixth amongst lively gamers in video games performed, however no different participant has performed as many video games with out showing within the Stanley Cup Closing. Yet one more victory for the Blues, and that distinction will transfer on from Bouwmeester to Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild.
Tyler Bozak: A Smart Gamble
When Tyler Bozak signed with the Blues within the offseason, he wrote an article for the Gamers’ Tribune explaining what the Toronto Maple Leafs meant to him. Within the article, he additionally defined why he selected the Blues as his vacation spot in free company. He put it bluntly:
I wish to win a Cup. So rattling unhealthy. That’s why I signed in St. Louis. There’s your headline. Print it.Tyler Bozak, explaining why he selected St. Louis in free company
On the time, that appeared like an audacious assertion. Although the Blues had been a constantly good staff, they hadn’t made the playoffs in any respect the season earlier than Bozak signed. However he believed that they had been his finest shot at making the Stanley Cup Closing, and now, he’s one sport away from realizing that dream after a 666 sport common season profession.
One Win Away
The Blues are one win away from enjoying for the best prize in hockey. However Joe Thornton, Erik Karlsson (who will miss Tuesday’s sport), Joe Pavelski (who’s a game-time choice) and plenty of different Sharks wish to forestall that from occurring with a purpose to obtain their very own glory. The puck drops at 7:00 PM for is probably the most important hockey sport in St. Louis since 1970.