Many of you might remember the horrendous goaltending blunder Kings’ Jonathan Quick made in Game 1 of their series with the Blues last year that allowed St. Louis’ Alexander Steen to score and win the game. Well, while it was not exactly the same play, Steen was able to score the OT winner this year in Game 1 as well to give the Blues a 1-0 series lead.
In Game 2 this year, it was the Blues’ Barret Jackman who scored the game winning goal in a 1-0 defeat of the Blackhawks. Jackman also scored the game winner in Game 2 of last year’s series with the Kings in a one-goal affair. In Game 3, the Blues fell on the road to Los Angeles last year and were outshot by nine. This year, the Blues lost on the road in Chicago and were outshot by nine.
In Game 4, the Blues had a 3-2 lead in the third period and lost in overtime both this year and last year. In Game 5, the Blues were down to the Kings 1-0 and 2-1 this year, but Alex Pietrangelo scored to make the game go to overtime, assisted by Jaden Schwartz. Later on, the Blues would lose the game 3-2. Now if you had to guess, how did Game 5 go this year? You guessed it, the Blues were losing to the Blackhawks 1-0 and 2-1, then Alex Pietrangelo scored on an assist from Schwartz only for the Blues to lose 3-2 in OT. Finally, in Game 6, the Blues were held to only one goal in both games and ended up losing the series.
Some of these similarities are more on point than others, but it is still pretty wacky. It’s not even as if the team is exactly the same, either. Ryan Miller was brought in at the trade deadline as the goaltender for the Blues; the team hoped he would solve the goaltending issue that has plagued their team in the last few years in the playoffs. But not only did Miller not help much, the Blues fell in six games to a lower seeded team, in nearly the exact same fashion every game with the same players scoring pivotal goals.
You couldn’t have scripted this series more perfectly if you tried. I predicted the Blackhawks would win in six games, but I did not expect them to blow a 2-0 lead again, let alone in as similar a way as they did last year. This just goes to show that you never know what you’re going to see in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Crazy coincidences, insane plays and momentum shifting events occur with every faceoff, and it’s certainly exciting to watch.
Anthony Pucik is Assistant Sports Editor at The Fordham Ram.