Stanley Cup Game 7 Dominates

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY

The St. Louis Blues completed a most improbable journey and wiped out decades of misery by beating the Boston Bruins on Wednesday to capture their first Stanley Cup and set off a celebration that was 52 years in the making.

But it will certainly suck more for the polarizing goaltender who did not deserve what he got in Game 7.

"It's hard to find words", 42-year-old captain Zdeno Chara said, fighting back tears and still healing from a badly injured jaw.

"We thought we were going to do it". "You never know when you'll get that chance again".

It was a tough scene in the TD Garden home dressing room on Wednesday night after the Bruins played a dud of a Game 7 in which they were outplayed during 5-on-5 play by a strong, determined St. Louis bunch and watched rookie upstart Jordan Binnington outplay goalie Tuukka Rask between the pipes. "We have taken measures that that microphone is not turned on now", Emrick said. "That's what we were saying". If you want to see those stats (and you probably do if you're a visitor of this site) then you can see that post here, the post you're reading now is just my annual update to the graphic, no fancy stats.

But this season, after being traded to the Blues last summer, he blossomed in every direction, setting career marks with 28 goals, 49 assists, 77 points, a plus-22 and nominations for the Selke and Lady Byng trophies.

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Even Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy conceded that the Blues "play a different game" when they're ahead.

But by the end of the playoffs, he ended up being one of the team's top shutdown defencemen, logging more than 23 minutes a night. After the penalty was over, David Krejci cut in alone and Binnington flashed his right pad to rob his backhander from the edge of the crease.

That 2011 Game 7 went on to bring in a total audience of 8.5 million, even with the Vancouver market and entire Canadian viewership not being counted by Nielsen - which is very similar to the situation the NBA Finals and ABC find themselves in as the Toronto Raptors battle it out with the Golden State Warriors.

Boston seemed to fall apart defensively late in the period.

The Blues had just one shot on goal heading into the final minutes of the first period, but they scored first when O'Reilly deflected a shot from Jay Bouwmeester into the net.

"The second (goal) we just didn't manage the puck". But I knew if I could get back healthy, I could play the way I can.

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