The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night to advance to the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final. The champions of the Western Conference will take on the Boston Bruins, the champions of the Eastern Conference, having swept the Carolina Hurricanes in four games.
With the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins squaring off in a rematch of the 1970 Stanley Cup Final, we've dug up the seven reasons why Capitals fans, and -- well -- all NHL fans should be rooting for the Blues to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.
1: The Blues are like the Capitals of the West
A lot of fans think that the San Jose Sharks hold that title, but the Blues present an even stronger case.
The Blues Stanley Cup drought is currently at 51 seasons. And although they made the Stanley Cup Final three consecutive seasons from 1968-1970, they have yet to win a game in the Stanley Cup Final.
That should sound familiar to Caps fans. Before they won it all in 2018, Washington's Cup drought was 42 years, and when they made the Cup Final in 1998 they were swept by the dominant Detroit Red Wings.
The similarities don't stop there. Each team has a Russian sniper, a crop of promising rookies on offense and defense, and acquired depth pieces in free agency to build a consistent contender.
In the Blues case before this season, they couldn't make it past the Conference Finals, similar to how the Caps couldn't make it out of the second round.
Call it coincidence or fate, but the Blues are looking eerily similar to the Caps that won the Stanley Cup last year.
2: No More Boston Championships
The New England Patriots just won the Super Bowl. The Red Sox just won another World Series. The city of Boston has celebrated six major professional championships since 2010 and 12 since 2000, with each parade more frustrating to watch than the last.
Does Boston really need another championship after a drought since February?
3: Brad Marchand is the worst
A lot of people will complain about Tom Wilson's play. But Brad Marchand is the king of the subtle and overtly dirty play, especially in the playoffs where the rules relax.
In last year's playoffs, Marchand was told by the league to stop licking players after he brushed his tongue across Leo Komarov's face.
This postseason, he's punched players in the back of the head after a play's been blown dead.
"He does some stuff that I don't think even the great pests of history would want to emulate, like licking people. But as far as getting under people's skin, he's as good as there is." – @Burkie2020 on Brad Marchand pic.twitter.com/bfemFK3x8s— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 15, 2019
He also baited Justin Williams into penalty minutes when he high-sticked him across the face. No penalty was given to Marchand on the play.
Marchand's put up 18 points through three rounds in addition to his antics.
4: TJ Oshie's old stomping grounds
The Caps acquired Oshie from the Blues in 2015 in exchange for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley and Washington's third-round pick in 2016, and he's now a mainstay in the Caps top six.
Oshie played over 400 games for the Blues, recording over 300 points for the organization that drafted him. Not only did he put up stellar numbers, but he was an alternate captain for the Blues and was beloved by fans in the area.
Who better to root for than for Oshbabe's old team?
5: Vladimir Tarasenko is tearing it up
If you've got Alex Ovechkin's endorsement as a game-changer, that's a good place to start.
Ovechkin took note of Tarasenko's skill in a 2014 game the Blues played against the Rangers and told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "He just make great jump in his career and he’s carrying the team right now.”
In these playoffs, the Russian sniper has eight goals and five assists, including points in every game of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks.
6: Pam and Jim are facing off in an Office matchup
Actor John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert in The Office, is a Bruins fan.
Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, Jim's love interest, is a Blues fan.
We have a house divided.
We tend to lean to Team Pam because if you take a closer look, Jim was a pretty awful colleague and despite his charm and boyish looks, he was kinda a bad person.
7: Washington helped St. Louis ascend the standings
On Jan. 2 the Blues were last in the league and posted a 15-18-4 record with 34 points.
But their fortunes started to turn on Jan. 3, when they faced the Caps at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. They beat the Caps 5-2, and turned their season around from that game going forward, including an 11 game winning streak.
So really, St. Louis has Washington to thank for transforming their season from one marred by losses to one where they made the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.
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