Someone other than the Cardinals brought a championship home to Saint Louis. For the first time in their 52 year existence, the Blues won the Stanley Cup, in a series that peaked in last night’s game 7 with a record 9 million viewers late in the 3rd period when the decisive 4th goal was scored. The previous record was 2010’s game 6 when the Blackhawks ended their 49 year drought against the Flyers. Most impressive, 60% of television viewers in Saint Louis were watching the game. Nobody can say their city was uninterested. Original 6 Boston is a reliable draw, but it is a bit surprising the 1971 rematch would break the record. Maybe the NHL’s popularity is on the rise. Blues fans have waited a long time, being the final 1967 expansion team to join hockey immortality. Sorry Seals, you never made it.
Thanks to Google tracking everything we do, I was recommended this year old Vox video the same day the NHL made sports history when all of their division winners were eliminated in the first round. Lib academic dorks trying to push an agenda would call that correlation, I call it your whole bullshit house of cards crumbling down. There are many variables in sports and endless probability possibilities in terms of bounces, physics, gravity, wind etc that determine the outcome of games. Just because the team with the best record wins the least championships in a sport, does not make the sport more lucky. Chalk wins every year in the NBA, that’s skill according to Vox? Basketball is a sport of 5 guys and a few role bench players, one guy matters. Basketball is the sport where an elite player has the most impact since it is the smallest team sport versus 6 in hockey, 11 in football, and 9 in baseball. A novice observer in any major sport can name at least one all star team that was put together in the offseason with high hopes only to disappoint during the season, 04 lakers, 011 Eagles, early 2000s Yankees etc. It’s called team sports Vox, individual skill is mitigated in a team setting, especially when the play is elevated in an elimination setting. The NHL’s top teams win the least because of the salary cap forced parody and it could be argued, it is the playoff sport most reliant on teamwork and chemistry. The NHL has a hard cap just like the NFL, who pioneered this model in the early 90s with their collective bargaining agreement. Their agenda: dynasties are boring, the rich are boring, let’s level the playing field and make everyone mediocre so every team and fan base feels involved in steady consumption. The actual result of sports socialism: shortlived teams with tepid tv ratings and a ticket buying audience consisting of mostly corporate season ticket holders. That’s why the NHL made history last night, it had nothing to do with luck. And meanwhile in the NBA first round snooze fest, the top 4 teams in each conference are advancing to the next round as usual.
In the summer of 1994, the once iconic SI proclaimed the Jordan-less NBA was passe and knighted the NHL playoffs as the new spring fling. That year’s bicoastal final brought a mainstream audience previously unfamiliar with the greatest tournament in sports. Fast forward 25 years, the southwest desert’s newest team was a cup contender in their first year of existence and were poised to repeat as western conference champion: game 7 up 3 – 0 with 10 minutes left on the road, building quiet, opponents dejected, Vegas poised to eliminate San Jose and then a double crosscheck on a faceoff, a little blood, and the entire game changed in an instant. San Jose scores 4 goals in 4 minutes on the 5 minute major power play, Vegas ties it with 40 seconds left, but the Sharks got the final goal with 1:50 left in overtime. The crosscheck that’ll live in infamy…4 minute double minor at its best, nothing a game should turn on, but the refs had another opinion. The infantile Vegas dynasty is officially over.