Blues keeping emotions in check with ‘big job ahead’ in Game 6
BOSTON — It’s going to be a long, anxious wait until 8 p.m. ET Sunday night for the St. Louis Blues. A 2-1 win in Game 5 over the Boston Bruins has set up an historic night for the city as the team seeks its first Stanley Cup championship.
A “gutsy” win, as head coach Craig Berube described it, will be enjoyed by the Blues players Thursday night, but once that’s over it’s back to business because they know getting that fourth and final win of the series will be incredibly difficult.
“We’ve got a big job ahead of us still, that’s the way I look at it,” said Berube. “I hope our team looks at it that way. We’re going to get a real good Boston Bruins team again. I thought they were really good tonight. We gutted a win out, which is great, but we’re going to get a great performance from them. We need to be good, we need to be ready.”
No Blues player has their name on the Stanley Cup. David Perron was on the Vegas Golden Knights team that fell short in five games to the Washington Capitals a year ago. Oskar Sundqvist played only two games during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Cup run in 2016, but did not meet the requirements — 41 regular season games played or one game played in the Cup Final — to get his name on the trophy. He did not play at all during their 2017 postseason.
Everyone else? Well, they’re just trying to get a handle on what Sunday night could be like.
“It’s a lot of emotion that goes through your head about that,” said forward Brayden Schenn. “We’ve been battling all year, we’ve been grinding all year, so we know obviously what’s at stake. We have some veteran guys in our locker room to help us through this and we’re going to be ready for Game 6.”
“It’s exciting but we don’t want to look too far ahead,” said defenseman Vince Dunn. “We’re looking forward to that first shift that everyone’s got to get into. Something that we’ve been thinking about since the start of playoffs is holding up that trophy. Not to think too much more about it now, it’s just making sure we start the right way at home.”
David Perron, who scored the game-winning goal after a controversial non-call, said one option to stay focused at the big task at hand might be to shut off their phones for the next few days to help block out the outside noise. Whatever will help keep their minds on Sunday night will be done.
Five months ago the Blues were at the bottom of the NHL. Now they’re one victory away from capping off an historic turnaround season. If they had it their way they’d be out playing Game 6 as soon as they could. But alas, they have to wait until Sunday night in the final home game of the season. It could be a night that ends with one more trip to Boston and a Game 7, or they could be playing “Gloria” throughout the city all night long and into the summer.
Now we wait.
“I try to keep everything in perspective and calm and cool as much as I can,” said Berube. “It’s hard. It’s hard for the players, too, but it’s important that we keep our heads and keep level headed and know that we’ve got a big job ahead of us for Game 6.”
Blues-Bruins Game 6 will be Sunday on NBC at 8 p.m. ET (live stream)