2019 STANLEY CUP FINAL: EXPERIENCE MEETS NEWCOMERS
A total of 45 players have appeared in at least one game for the Bruins (23) and Blues (22) during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 37 who have yet to play in the Stanley Cup Final (82.2%).
* Five of the six Bruins with a Stanley Cup won with the team in 2011: Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask. The sixth is offseason acquisition Joakim Nordstrom, who won the Cup with the 2015 Blackhawks but did not play in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
* After helping the expansion Golden Knights achieve unprecedented success in 2017-18, forward David Perron now aims to help the Blues cap their historic season with the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Perron – now in his third stint with St. Louis – is the only Blues player to skate in these playoffs with experience in the Final, tallying 1-1—2 in four games against the Capitals last year.
* Blues forward Jordan Nolan, who last played in the NHL on Jan. 21, tallied 0-1—1 in six games during the 2012 Final to help the Kings capture the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup. He also won it again with Los Angeles two years later, but did not play in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
* St. Louis is the seventh team in the last 35 years to enter the pinnacle series with its players accounting for 10 or fewer games of Stanley Cup Final experience, joining Philadelphia in 1985 (6 GP), Edmonton in 2006 (7 GP), Ottawa in 2007 (7 GP in 2007), Vancouver in 2011 (7 GP), San Jose in 2016 (10 GP) and Nashville in 2017 (5 GP).
* The Bruins’ top three point-producers from the 2011 Cup run still don the black and gold sweater; Krejci led all NHL players with 12-11—23 (25 GP), finishing just ahead of Bergeron (6-14—20 in 23 GP) and Marchand (11-8—19 in 25 GP).
* Marchand led all rookies in goals, assists and points during the 2011 postseason – sharing the lead with seven points in the Final (5-2—7 in 7 GP) including 2-1—3 in the Cup-clinching Game 7.
2019 STANLEY CUP FINAL: KEY CONTRIBUTORS
Depth scoring has guided each finalist through the 2019 postseason, with a combined 37 players scoring at least one goal for the Bruins (19) and Blues (18) thus far. This marks the second Stanley Cup Final in League history between two teams with as many combined unique goal scorers; the other instance occurred in 1987, when Philadelphia and Edmonton faced off with 20 and 18, respectively.
Various Bruins have played the ‘hero’ role through three rounds, with nine different players accounting for their 12 game-winning goals. Boston also had nine different skaters with a game-winning tally in 1988 and 2011. David Krejci, who scored the series-clinching goal against Columbus, is tied for third in franchise history with eight career playoff game-winning goals.
* One of three European-trained captains to win the Stanley Cup, Zdeno Chara now aims to become the fifth player to hoist the Cup at age 42 or older. The only players to do so: Johnny Bower in 1967 (42), Dominik Hasek in 2008 (43), Mark Recchi in 2011 (43) and Chris Chelios in 2008 (46). Rangers coach Lester Patrick won the Stanley Cup at age 44 in 1928 after playing goal in one playoff game.
* Born nearly seven years after Bobby Orr’s iconic Cup-winning goal against the Blues in the 1970 Final, Chara also can become the seventh player to appear in the Final at age 42 or older. The only players to do so: Patrick (1 GP in 1928), Bower (3 GP in 1967), Doug Harvey (2 GP in 1968), Johnny Bucyk (1 GP in 1977), Gary Roberts (5 GP in 2008) and Recchi (7 GP in 2011).
* Brad Marchand ranks second in playoff scoring with 7-11—18 in 17 games, producing at a point-per-game pace for the second time in as many postseasons (also 2018: 4-13—17 in 12 GP). He can become the ninth player in Bruins franchise history to produce at a point-per-game clip in consecutive playoff years (min. 10 GP) – Boston’s President & Alternate Governor Cam Neely was one of three players to do so in 1990 and 1991.
* David Pastrnak (7-8—15 in 17 GP) registered 1-2—3 in the Bruins’ series-clinching game against the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. Pastrnak, who turns 23 today, sits five points shy of becoming just the fourth active NHL player to record multiple 20-point postseasons before age 24. The others: Sidney Crosby (2008 and 2009), Evgeni Malkin (2008 and 2009) and Jake Guentzel (2017 and 2018).
* Krejci has collected 4-10—14 this postseason (17 GP) – including 1-3—4 in three series-clinching wins – to boost his career playoff totals to 36-65—101 (125 GP). He sits one postseason point shy of tying Phil Esposito (46-56—102 in 71 GP) for second place in the franchise’s all-time list.
* Patrice Bergeron (39-60—99 in 129 GP) is one shy of reaching 100 career postseason points and needs one marker to tie Johnny Bucyk (40-60—100 in 109 GP) for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time playoff goals list. Bergeron leads the League with six power-play goals in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, three shy of the NHL record for most in a postseason set by Mike Bossy (9 PPG in 1981) and equaled 10 years later by Neely (9 PPG in 1991).
St. Louis Blues
A balanced attack has carried the Blues to their first Final in 49 years, with eight players notching a game-winning goal along the way (tied with 1986 and 2016 for the most in club history). In the Conference Finals, 17 of 19 skaters found the score sheet including 12 who tallied a goal and 15 who had multiple points.
* Jaden Schwartz leads the Blues and ranks third in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12-4—16 (19 GP), including 4-1—5 in the Western Conference Final (6 GP). After scoring only 11 goals in the 2018-19 regular season, Schwartz needs only one goal to match Brett Hull (13 in 1990) for the single-postseason franchise record.
* Vladimir Tarasenko has collected a point in six consecutive contests en route to leading the Blues offensively in the Western Conference Final (3-5—8 in 6 GP) – finding the score sheet in each game. His six-game point streak is tied for the fourth-longest in team history, with Tony Currie posting a franchise-best nine-game run during the 1981 postseason (4-12—16 in 9 GP).
* Acquired by the Blues on July 1, Ryan O’Reilly has registered 3-11—14 this postseason (19 GP) – eight of which have come on the road (3-5—8 in 9 GP). Two points in Boston would allow O’Reilly to follow Schwartz (7-4–11 in 2019) as the sixth player in Blues history to record 10 road points in a postseason; the others are Doug Gilmour (9-6–15 in 1986), Bernie Federko (2-9–11 in 1986), Rod Brind’Amour (4-6–10 in 1990) and Robby Fabbri (2-8–10 in 2016).
* Fellow offseason acquisitions David Perron (6-7—13 in 19 GP) and Tyler Bozak (5-5—10 in 19 GP) have also made noteworthy contributions this postseason, with both establishing career highs for goals and points in a playoff year.
* Blues rookie Robert Thomas can become the ninth different teenager in NHL history to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final – a feat last achieved 35 years ago by Pat LaFontaine for the Islanders in Game 5 of the 1984 Final. Only three teenagers have netted the winning tally in a Final game.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Bruins and Blues have been aided by meaningful contributions from players who have returned home to don the NHL jersey of their local team.
* The trio of Massachusetts-born players, East Weymouth’s Charlie Coyle (6-6—12), Charlestown’s Matt Grzelcyk (3-4—7) and Walpole’s Chris Wagner (2-0—2), have all found the score sheet in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and have their sights set on achieving a feat last accomplished 90 years ago. Myles Lane, a defenseman from Melrose, is the only Massachusetts-born player in Bruins history to win a Stanley Cup with the team, doing so as a member of Boston’s first-ever championship team in 1929.
* Their 11 combined goals this postseason are the highest total by Massachusetts-born players in a single playoff year in Bruins playoff history. Additionally, Coyle’s six goals are tied for the highest total by a Massachusetts-born Bruins skater in a single playoff year, joining John Carter in 1990 and Bob Sweeney in 1988.
* St. Louis, Mo. native Pat Maroon (3-4—7 in 19 GP) is skating in his first season with his hometown team after signing with the club as a free agent on July 10. Maroon, who became the seventh player in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime during the team’s Game 7 win in the Second Round, decided to sign a one-year deal with the Blues to spend more time with his family.
VETERANS CONTINUE QUEST FOR FIRST STANLEY CUP
A pair of veterans, Jay Bouwmeester (STL) and David Backes (BOS), are set to appear in their first-ever Stanley Cup Final after skating in their 16th and 13th NHL seasons, respectively.
* Since being acquired by the Blues on April 1, 2013, Bouwmeester has competed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in all but one of his seven seasons with the club. Only seven NHL players skated in more regular-season games prior to making their Stanley Cup Final debut.
* Backes, a veteran of 928 regular-season games, spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Blues (727 GP) where he served as captain from 2011-12 to 2015-16 before signing with the Bruins on July 1, 2016. He is set to become the fifth different player in NHL history – and first in 46 years – to skate in 700 or more regular-season games with a franchise before eventually meeting his former team in the Stanley Cup Final.
* In addition to Bouwmeester and Backes, each team has another long-time veteran in search of their first Stanley Cup championship: Blues forward Alexander Steen (963 GP over 14 seasons) and Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak (489 GP over 13 seasons).