Our Rivalry Week series is rolling right along, and we’re jumping back to the Western Conference and talking about the St. Louis Blues! We don’t see the Blues too often during a given season, but that absolutely does not mean that they’re exempt from our ire. That ire knows no bounds, folks, let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s air our grievances.
Jordan Binnington and January 7, 2019
Alright, the elephant in the room. We all probably remember this game, and we don’t remember it all that fondly. On this date, the last place in the league Blues came to Philly, starting their just-called-up rookie goalie in Jordan Binnington, and this looked like it should have been a relatively easy win for the Flyers. Instead, Binnington pitches a 25-save shutout in his NHL debut and gets the Blues rolling on their hot second half that would culminate in their Stanley Cup win. But we didn’t know all that was coming, we just knew that that was a pretty embarrassing loss and it’s also going to haunt us for a while, I suspect.
I also have a personal bone to pick about Binnington, because I watched him looking very average in the AHL with my own two eyes, and part of me does not want to admit that he’s actually That Good, and not just a fine goalie benefitting from a team playing a tight defensive system in front of him. I refuse to be wrong.
Their jerseys are fine but they could be better
I’m pretty neutral about the Blues’ regular jerseys, both home and away, but they really could be so much better!
Their jerseys from the 2017 Winter Classic are really just so nice (in my opinion), and frankly it feels like a crime that they don’t wear them full time. Do better, the Blues.
The “well the Blues were last in the league in January and then they won the Cup” narrative is going to get beaten into the ground
I hate narratives, and I hate when they get rehashed into the ground, especially when they’re missing the mark. I’m already tired of hearing about how the Blues clawed their way from last in the league to becoming Stanley Cup champions because of gumption and perseverance and all of those good and fun intangibles, and how *extremely infomercial voice* you too can find this same success, yes you, extremely poor team!
But what we’re not acknowledging is that a coaching change to hand the reins over to our old pal Craig Berube went a long way, and he had them playing like a whole new team, playing a tighter defensive system that had them really locked in and ready to play lights out for the rest of the season. They’re a great example of how making smart systemic changes can go a long way in getting your team back on track, but instead they’ve become a more imprecise poster child for “bad team flips the magic switch and suddenly becomes good,” and how that means we have to pretend that nearly any cellar dweller team can turn it on in the second half and go on a miracle run. Sometimes the bad teams are just bad. We don’t have to pretend.
Is this narrativizing the Blues’ fault, necessarily? No, but it’s still happening and it makes me hate them.
We got got
Man, I can’t believe that somehow the Blues tricked the Flyers into trading them Brayden Schenn for Jori Lehtera one for one. Because, you know, that’s exactly how that trade went down. People forget that.
Just kidding, thanks for those picks that are now Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee, the Blues. We like those two a lot and they’re a lot of fun and we’re very glad to have them. So maybe it all worked out in the end.
Also, there are few things that Philly sports fans seem to hate more than New England sports teams, so a Bruins Cup win last year would have been pretty distressing for a lot of us here. So we appreciate you for saving us from that fate.