5.Brian Elliot Stands on His Head in Game 1 vs. Sharks
Photo Courtesy of NHL.com
The playoffs didn’t end the way Brian Elliot and Blues had hoped, but without Elliot, the Blues may not have gotten out of the first round, let alone making it to Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
Game 1 of the Conference Finals personified everything that Elliot was about down the stretch. The Blues played the type of shoddy game that unfortunately became the norm against the Sharks, but Elliot’s sterling play in a 31 save effort preserved a win.
Nobody made more saves than Elliot through the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he deserved a better fate than he received at the end. But Elliot’s performance all throughout these playoffs will put him in a class with some of the best goaltenders in Blues’ history.
4.Blues Social Media Presence
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 18, 2016
There is no better publicity for a sports team than “winning.” The winning executed by this particular St. Louis Blues captivated the entire region, like no local team has done since maybe the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. The product on the ice was exciting, the fans were engaged, you wouldn’t blame the franchise for thinking their work here was done.
The Blues aren’t just any franchise, though. This is a organization that embraced the challenge of filling a void left by the Rams. This is a team that took the opportunity to spread good will at every turn. From Wyatt Nelson to Tony X, the Blues PR and social media team was masterful. It’s the type of approach that professional sports teams around the world should take note of.
3.Backes Nets Two OT Goals
Photo Courtesy Getty Images
David Backes endured a rough regular season that included spotty play, injury, and speculation about his future in St. Louis. The speculation about his future will continue throughout the summer, but Backes burying not one, but two OT game winners in these Stanley Cup Playoffs mean that if this is the end of his Blues run he went out with a bang. Backes joined Pierre Turgeoun as the only Blues with a pair of OT winners in a single playoff season.
The Blues were in the process of stomping the Stars 6-1 in game 3. Nothing symbolized the carnage more than Reeves beating down Curtis McKenzie. On his way off the ice, Reeves blew a kiss to the Dallas bench. It may be THE iconic image from these playoffs.
1) Brouwer, Blues Oust the Champs
April 25th, 2016. The day any holdovers begrudging the Blues for trading away T.J. Oshie were permanently swayed. KTRS Sports Director Jim Heuer called Troy Brouwer’s game winner one the greatest in team history. It not only eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions, but it knocked that Blackhawk monkey off the Blues’ collective backs.
For Brouwer, it was one of eight playoff goals this year. His ability to come through in the clutch, showed you one of the reasons why management wanted Brouwer to have the blue note on his sweater.
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Follow Brendan Wiese on Twitter- @brendan_mw16