This season’s Stanley Cup Final has been 49 years in the making, as the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues are left standing after a crazy several weeks of the postseason. These two franchises met in the 1970 Stanley Cup Final, and Boston-vs.-St. Louis has been a big-time sports rivalry that’s had championship matchups in all four of the major American professional sports leagues, with a record 11 matchups total between the NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA.
Here’s the upcoming schedule for the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The home teams are listed second, all game times are 8:00 PM ET, and Games 2 and 3 will be on NBCS instead of NBC.
-Game 1 | Blues vs. Bruins | Monday, May 27 | NBC
-Game 2 | Blues vs. Bruins | Wednesday, May 29 | NBCS
-Game 3 | Bruins vs. Blues | Saturday, June 1 | NBCS
-Game 4 | Bruins vs. Blues | Monday, June 3 | NBC
-Game 5 | Blues vs. Bruins | Thursday, June 6 | NBC
-Game 6 | Bruins vs. Blues | Sunday, June 9 | NBC
-Game 7 | Blues vs. Bruins | Wednesday, June 12 | NBC
Boston: Can Tuukka Rask continue his dominance?
Statistically, Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask is one of the best goalies of all-time, and he’s playing as well as ever with a .942 save percentage this postseason. In his playoff career, Rask has the best save percentage of all-time at .92788 (minimum 55 games). If his level of play remains at this level, it’ll be difficult for the Blues to prevent Boston from winning their second Stanley Cup this decade.
St. Louis: Can the Blues continue their stellar play on the road?
The Bruins are 6-2 on the road themselves, but the Blues are 7-2 and have gotten more wins with their backs against the wall—like falling behind twice in the Western Conference Final against the Sharks. And with Boston holding home ice throughout the series, St. Louis obviously must take at least one game on the road—and they shouldn’t panic if they drop a game or two at home.
Keep in mind, the Bruins have had 11 days of rest, and it’s possible rust is a factor early in Game 1 as they attempt to get their footing against a physical Blues team. On paper, Boston should be considered the favorites to win another Stanley Cup: they’re first in goals allowed per game and second in goals scored this postseason, and they’re first in power play percentage. They have the experience advantage with Rask, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci. But the Blues feel like they have the makings of a team that can pull off the upset. Head coach Craig Berube took the team from the bottom of the standings into this position after being named interim coach in November, and they’re playing with a noticeable edge this postseason. Vladimir Tarasenko is heating up and could help break Rask’s spell; and teammate Brayden Schenn hasn’t had big offensive numbers this postseason, but his all-around hustle could lead to some pucks bouncing St. Louis’ way this series.
If the series goes seven games, I think Boston would win the series because of their experience. However, the Blues might ride their momentum to steal an early game on the road and win their first Stanley Cup at home in Game 6.
Prediction: Blues in six