Is it inevitable?
Few moments in sports get to be called something as iconic as “The Goal.” In the NHL, “The Goal” arrived courtesy of Bobby Orr, and it won the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins in 1970. This quintessential moment came against the St. Louis Blues, who have not been back to the Stanley Cup Finals until now. And who are their opponents? The Boston Bruins.
There are those who don’t believe in fate. They’ll tell you that it’s simply a made-up façade for “the luck of the draw.” Normally, I agree with that premise. It’s too hard to believe that everything is predetermined. Every once in a while, however, something happens that makes me question that very notion. Sports have a funny way of circling back and sometimes making us believe in fate. Since 1970, the Bruins have been back to the Finals to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup seven times (including this year), claiming it twice. However, the Blues suffered for 49 years without a Finals appearance, only to be met at the mountain top this spring by their old nemesis.
I use the term “nemesis” lightly. These teams don’t really have a bona fide rivalry in the vein of the Bruins’ fellow Boston residents, the Red Sox, who’ve had a bitter rivalry with the New York Yankees for over 100 years. Sure, the Blues and the Bruins will duke it out when they face each other, but these games are never contested with vitriol that sports fans would expect from a classic rivalry. But in order for the St. Louis Blues to finally bring the Stanley Cup to the “Gateway to the West” for the first time in over half a century, they’ll need to treat the Bruins as a bitter rival.
Following a disappointing loss in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, in which the Blues blew a 2-0 cushion by allowing four unanswered goals, St. Louis needs to find a way to rebound and conquer its demons. Otherwise, fate might not be so kind to them again.