Second round action of the NHL playoffs gets underway tomorrow night and the St. Louis Blues will have plenty of opportunities to see all the action on whatever big screen TV that’s nearby.
Three years. Three first round playoff exits.
Not that that news is really all that surprising. The Blues have a long tradition of finding ways to lose whenever the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around. Recently, it’s been first round exits. Second round, third round, doesn’t really matter – the Blues are bound to lose at some point in their never-ending quest to Lord Stanley’s cup. So breaking your heart right off the bat at least spares you the agony of future series defeats.
Still, is it that much to ask a team to make it to the second round of the playoffs when you’re going up against opponents that you have beaten all year long?
In the Blues case, yes, it probably is.
Those of us who were actually around back in 1967 had no idea how good we had it when the Blues made it to the Stanley Cup final in their first year of existence – to be followed by two more consecutive visits. Granted, the league was structured back then so that a playoff team was guaranteed to make it to the Stanley Cup Final. Still, it was the Blues who made it three years in a row.
And lost all three.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals were in the midst of winning the World Series in ’67 and returning to it again in 1968 – so the Blues took a back seat to the Birds and they have been in that position ever since. And that quest for the Stanley Cup is even more elusive today than it was back in 1967.
So the Blues have now set a precedent that makes them comparable to the Chicago Cubs who are still seeking their first World Series title since 1908.
Many people believe a Cubs World Series will not happen in their lifetime.
I pretty much feel the exact same way about the Blues.
I’m not a die-hard Blues fan. And I’m kind of glad I’m not – because die-hard Blues fans have suffered many deaths along the way.
I have a tough time getting in to regular season hockey – knowing that it means virtually nothing once the playoffs roll around. And I have an even tougher time getting into the playoffs, knowing that somehow, someway, the Blues will end up just like the Cubs.
Wait until next year.