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NHL 19: Stanley Cup Finals Simulation

NHL 19

NHL 19: Stanley Cup Finals Simulation

Six weeks after all the craziness and upsets began, we have two of the NHL’s best four teams from the start of 2019 until now meeting in this years Stanley Cup Final.

Boston Bruins Vs. St. Louis Blues

How We Got Here

The B’s are in the Stanley Cup Final for the 20th time in their history and third in the past nine years. The Bruins are seeking their seventh championship and first since 2011.

The Bruins are no stranger to this place. In 2011, Boston returned to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 21 years and defeated the favorite Vancouver Canucks for their first Cup win since 1972. They returned two years later and lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Although the Bruins didn’t make any deep playoff runs in any of the following five seasons, they did win one Presidents’ Trophy and were usually in the talks of potential Cup winners.

St. Louis is in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. Ironically, their opponent that year was also the Boston Bruins. The Blues are appearing in their fourth Stanley Cup Final in team history. The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup. St. Louis will try to become the first team to win the Stanley Cup after being in last place in the NHL standings after its 20th game of the season.

St. Louis was 15-18-4 and in last place in the NHL on January 3 before going an NHL-best 30-10-5 the remainder of the regular season to finish third in the Central Division.

Prediction: The Boston Bruins Defeat The St. Louis Blues In 6 Games

The Bostons Bruins won the first two games of the series at home to take a 2-0 series lead. Heading back to St. Louis, the Blues won a pivotal Game 3, but were unable to carry the momentum over to Game 4 and dropped that game by a score of 4-1. The Blues were able to squeak out one more victory in the series winning Game 5 in Boston 2-1 in double overtime before losing Game 6 back in St. Louis.

Boston was able to rattle rookie goalie Jordan Binnington scoring four or more goals in four of the six games in the series. The “big three” for the Bruins were able to produce throughout the series. Brad Marchand (4 goals, 6 assists), Patrice Bergeron (3 goals, 3 assists), and David Pastrnak (5 goals, 3 assists) combined for 24 points in the six games. The Bruins also received strong performances from depth forwards (and ex-St. Louis Blues captain) David Backes (5 points), Sean Kuraly (4 points) and Danton Heinen (4 points).

Tuukka Rask was dominant, recording one shutout in the six games while also allowing more than two goals only twice. Rask finished the series with a .938 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy. The Bruins’ defense was helpful clamping down on the Blues, yielding just 23 shots per game on average throughout the series.

St. Louis was not able to generate a consistent offensive attack all series. Sniper Vladimir Tarasenko was only able to tally one goal, offensive dynamo Jaden Schwartz registered just four points (2 goals, 2 assists), while center Ryan O’Reilly fared a little better recording two goals and three assists in the series. Goaltender Jordan Binnington finished with a sub .900 save percentage and a goals against average of 4.02.

What are everybody’s predictions?

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