Here’s a few Bruins-Blues bits to keep Cup Fever alive
Got Cup Fever yet?
It’s an incredibly busy time of year locally and regionally. The high school postseason is underway, the Silver Knights open the gates at Holman Stadium to start the 2019 season on Wednesday night, and now you throw the Boston Bruins into the mix.
It’s really amazing how the Stanley Cup playoffs have unfolded for the Bruins and how road was paved perfectly for them to reach the Finals. And probably, with the St. Louis Blues winning the Western Conference, for them to win their second Cup in three tries this decade.
Here are a tids and bits for all you puckheads, some courtesy of some info sent out by the National Hockey League:
—- The St. Louis roster has 12 draft picks, the three main ones being captain Alex Pietrangelo (2008), leading scorer Jaden Schwartz (2010) and top rookie goalie Jordan Binnington (2011). The fact that Binnington was drafted eight years ago 88th overall at the age of 17 and is now a rookie tells you exactly how long the road for a young professional hockey player can be after the draft comes and goes.
— Here’s the total breakdown of how players were acquired on each team. For the Bruins, 37 percent of the roster were the organization’s draft picks; 21 percent were acquired via trade; and a whopping 42 percent were signed as free agents.
For St. Louis, it’s much different — 52 percent via the draft, 35 percent via trade, and just 13 percent via the free agent route. Very interesting, but the bottom line is the Blues are basically a home grown team.
— The Blues didn’t have an AHL affiliate a year ago and Binnington was actually loaned to the Providence Bruins so he he could get some minor league time. He won 17 of his 28 starts and was an AHL All-Star. Think the B’s know a little about this guy? Should be interesting.
—Both St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong and Boston’s Don Sweeney are finalists for the NHL’s General Manager of the Year award. With the exception of five players, all of the Blues were acquired by Armstrong after he took over as GM in 2010. As for Sweeney, he inherited a lot of this roster but has also acquired several players and his trade deadline acquisitions of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson have been huge keys.
But how about this: Sweeney, of course, was noted as a stellar Bruins defenseman, but he actually finished his career in Dallas for one season, 2003-04. The Stars general manager at the time? One Doug Armstrong.
—- Everyone remembers that the Bruins won the 1970 Stanley Cup in beating the upstart Blues with a 4-0 sweep. But what some may forget is that the Blues were also in the Bruins’ way en route to Boston’s 1972 Stanley Cup win. The B’s, as they did in 1970, vanquished the Blues in four straight then as well in the Stanley Cup semifinals. Led by Johnny “Chief” Bucyk (six goals, six assists), the Bruins scored at least five goals in each game.
—- Yes, it’s been a long wait for this Finals Series to start. Basically, if the Blues had won in four or five games over the San Jose Sharks, things would have started tonight at the TD Garden. But once it was determined the Western Conference would go six or seven games (it went six), the Finals were set for Monday night. A lot of this was NBC driven.
Either way, it’s been a long wait for Game On.
Bruins in six.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org