After an interminable wait, the 2019 Stanley Cup Final gets going tonight as the Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the championship round, a rematch of the 1970 Final which ended in overtime on a goal you might have seen a few times.
Bobby Orr won’t be on the ice tonight, but the statue of what might be the most famous moment in Stanley Cup Final history will be standing guard just a few feet to the east of TD Garden, sure to serve as the starting point for more than a few narratives over the next two weeks.
The Blues and Bruins split the 2019 season series, with both teams winning on home ice. Boston took the first matchup of the season 5-2 in January, and the Blues returned the favor with a 2-1 shootout win a month later in St. Louis. Bruins fourth-liner Chris Wagner led all scorers with three points (2G, 1A) in the two games.
After more than a week off, the Bruins seem relatively healthy, but there’s some nagging uncertainty around the health of resident annoyance Brad Marchand. In a scrimmage late last week, Marchand seemed to injure his hand, and while Bruce Cassidy seems unconcerned about his availability tonight, there’s still a question about how effective he will be.
The Blues, meanwhile, are similarly mostly healthy, except for Robert Thomas who has not practiced in a few weeks while tending to a lingering lower-body injury. Similar to Marchand, Blues coach Craig Berube expects Thomas to be able to go tonight. Vince Dunn, who has been out of the lineup since taking a shot off his face in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, is close to returning but will not play tonight.
The broadcast of Game 1 will start at 8:00 on NBC and CBC, with the opening puck drop at 8:23 from TD Garden in Boston. Don’t forget that entries for the final round of the CC Playoff Pick ‘Em close at the start of tonight’s game, so you have a little while longer to get your picks in!
Feel free to chat about the game in the comments, and enjoy the game!