Stanley Cup Finals Action Begins Monday Night
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
St. Louis hockey fans have been waiting almost half a century for this.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
KENNY ALBERT: For the first time in 49 years, the St. Louis Blues are headed to the Stanley Cup Final.
INSKEEP: That's Kenny Albert on the call for NBCSN last week. If you didn't hear him over the deafening roar, he was saying the St. Louis Blues haven't been in the Stanley Cup finals in 49 years. And tonight they are back facing the team that knocked them out of the series back in 1970, the Boston Bruins.
NOEL KING, HOST:
The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, but when that franchise was first born they seemed like they'd be the next sports dynasty.
DAN O'NEILL: It's funny. They went to the finals their first three years - '68, '69 and '70. And, you know, you just sort of thought that that was just going to be a regular thing.
KING: Dan O'Neill is a sports reporter in St. Louis and wrote the book "When The Blues Go Marching In." He says the team's hard luck has made it pretty hard to be a hockey fan in a baseball town like St. Louis.
O'NEILL: People have the impression that St. Louisans get up in the morning and play catch before they eat breakfast. The Cardinals have dominated the landscape here, and so the Blues have always sort of played second fiddle. Now that's changed. If you drive around St. Louis now and you flip around the radio stations, they're talking about the Blues. And that's really unusual.
INSKEEP: Yeah. Because most years over the past half-century, the Blues have not given fans very much hope. Earlier this year, they were in last place, but since then they've thrilled St. Louis with a turnaround.
O'NEILL: They don't have a bunch of high-scoring forwards or household names, but they've just been an incredibly resilient team that doesn't get down. So that's why I think they have a chance, and it should be a terrific series.
INSKEEP: The Blues play the Bruins tonight in Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.