The 2019 Stanley Cup Final is a rematch of the 1970 Stanley Cup Final when Bobby Orr famously flew through the air to win the Stanley Cup for the Bruins against St. Louis. The Bruins are hoping for history to repeat itself, while St. Louis looks to rewrite the script and end the winning ways in Boston.
The Bruins and Blues are mirror images of each other, so if you think this will be an easy series think again. Let’s take a look at what it will take to ultimately win the Stanley Cup!
Keys to the Stanley Cup Final
- Special Teams – Like in any series, special teams will play a vital role in a team winning and losing a series. The Bruins have the top-ranked power play and penalty kill left heading into the final. The B’s power play converts at 34 percent while the penalty kill is stopping teams at 86.3 percent. The B’s will need to continue to have this much success as St. Louis boasts a good penalty kill over their own. The St. Louis penalty kill operates at 78 percent with a power play that operates at 17.6 percent. While the power play percentage is low for St. Louis, they have the weapons that can score, so the Bruins will need to stay out of the box.
- Depth Scoring – With the top two lines will cancel each other out for most of the series; goals will have to come from the bottom six forwards, mainly the fourth lines. St. Louis has one of the best in the playoffs. Through 19 games, St. Louis’s fourth line has 16 points. However, the Bruins fourth line is no pushover either. Through 17 games the B’s fourth line has 15 points. This series could come down to which fourth line can perform better.
- Goaltending – Both Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington have played outstanding in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rask is the reason the Bruins are in even a position to win the Stanley Cup. His numbers mirror if not surpass Tim Thomas’s numbers from 2011. Rask has a 1.84 GAA, and .942 save percentage. While rookie Jordan Binnington just continues to win for St. Louis. Nothing seems to rattle this talented rookie. So what if he loses, he bounces right back with a win in the next game. Binnington has won 11 straight games following a loss as he boasts a 2.14 GAA and .914 save percentage. Not to mention Binnington posted a .947 save percentage in the Western Conference Final. It will be tough to score against these two goalies, especially Rask. One of these two goalies will have to bend if not break for either St. Louis or the B’s to win the Stanley Cup.
- Scoring 1st – Regardless of the series or the game, scoring first is ideal especially with these two teams. The B’s when scoring first or leading after the 1st period won seven times. While St. Louis through the 19 games they have played have scored the first goal 12 times with more than half their goals scored within the first five minutes of the game. St. Louis is 5-0 when scoring a goal within the first two minutes of a game and have won six teams when leading after the 1st period. Both teams, especially the B’s must survive the opening minutes of the hockey game.
- Road Wins – As the Stanley Cup Final begins, St. Louis enters the series with a 7-2 mark on the road. St. Louis began the playoffs with a record of 4-0 in road games. While that is impressive, what seems to be forgotten is that the Bruins have a good record on the road going 6-2. Half of those six wins for the Bruins came in crucial situations with Boston’s back to the wall. The team who can win more road games will win this series.
St. Louis will look to capture the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history, while the Bruins look to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2011. Sit back and enjoy the ride as this will be smash mouth hockey at its best. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final begins Monday, May 27 at 8 pm EST at the TD Garden.