The 2010s have come and gone leaving Blues fans decently satisfied — is there really much more that we could have asked for? Sure, maybe that Stanley Cup could have come a bit earlier, but then again, all good things are worth waiting for (we can just forget about those few years that the Blues missed the playoffs).
Sitting down to create this list was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, because I could easily give you a list of all my favorite moments from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, say those were my favorite moments and call it a day.
That would not be doing the decade justice though, because while the Cup is a massive part of the past ten years, there was much more to it all.
To make this list and really believe in it, I wanted to look back at the moments that made me enjoy watching this team night in and night out. The moments where if you asked me, I could tell you exactly where I was when most of them occurred and what I felt at that time — These are those moments.
10. Blues-Sharks line brawl at the final horn - April 14, 2012
Playoff hockey at its finest — What can I really say about this one? That is what a good old fashioned line brawl looks like. Does anyone know if Justin Braun ever recovered from being thrown around like a rag-doll by Roman Polak?
9. Barret Jackman scores game-winner from center ice - March 10, 2015
I am still shocked whenever I watch this goal again. With the game tied and 1:08 remaining in the regulation, the Blues had a faceoff just outside of the Winnipeg zone. David Backes won the faceoff for the Blues and dropped it back to Robert Bortuzzo who sent a pass to Barret Jackman. Jackman took the pass off of the far boards, shot it on net from center ice and the rest is history. Jax Jax Jax!
8. Vladimir Tarasenko scores with “The Forsberg” move - Nov. 3, 2014
This was not the first time that the Russian forward used “The Forsberg” move, as he used it to score in the shootout against Chicago in 2013 and it was not his last, using it again in Minnesota in 2015. Down 1-0 in the second period to the New York Rangers, the Blues were on the power play whenever Tarasenko cut past the Rangers’ defense to score this marvelous goal. Yes, he had used the move before in the shootout, but scoring in regulation in the fashion that he did is a much different story.
7. Blues win first playoff series since 2002 - April 21, 2012
With a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis was down 1-0 in the third period and was in jeopardy of losing on home ice in front of their fans who had hoped to see the team win their first playoff series in ten years. The tying goal came from NHL veteran Jamie Langenbrunner with 8:44 to play in regulation, followed by the go-ahead-goal from David Perron 45 seconds later which would hold up as the game winning goal. With this victory, the Blues had shown the league that they would be a serious contender for years to come.
6. St. Louis knocks out Chicago in seven - April 25, 2016
This is easily one of my top five favorite Blues games that I have ever watched. From the opening goal just one minute in, to the Colton Parayko rocket that got past Corey Crawford and finally the game winning goal by the former Blackhawk, Troy Brouwer. This game had it all, and ever since the Blues beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in 2016, their long time rivals have failed to win a playoff series. The Blues-Blackhawks series in 2013-14 had provided me with some great memories, but did not end in the way I hoped for — This one held up to be a different story, though.
5. Alexander Steen scores shorthanded in overtime against Los Angeles - April 30, 2013
With the game tied at one in the overtime period, Kevin Shattenkirk was called for high sticking on Dustin Penner of the Kings — The Blues would have to kill off a double-minor with 7:15 still to play in sudden death overtime. Around thirty seconds into the Los Angeles power play the Blues cleared the puck out of their zone, and down to the reigning Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick. Quick went to play the puck behind his net, but was met by Alexander Steen who put pressure on the Kings’ netminder causing him to misplay the puck, and giving Steen a wide open net. John Kelly and Darren Pang can take it from here.
4. St. Louis hosts the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Jan. 2, 2017
Blues-Blackhawks, Busch Stadium, outdoor hockey and vintage jerseys — What else could you ask for? On the second day of the new year, the long-time rivals met outdoors at Busch Stadium for a classic match-up and an eventful day in St. Louis. After going down 1-0 early into the opening frame, the Blues scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Blackhawks 4-1. A goal from Patrik Berglund in the second period tied the contest then Vladimir Tarasenko put two more on the board in just a two-minute span to extend the Blues’ lead. This was an incredible day for the city of St. Louis to showcase to the sport where the heartland of hockey is located.
3. The Hometown Hero sends the Blues to the Western Conference Finals - May 7, 2019
Patrick Maroon came to St. Louis on a mission: To help his hometown team win their first Stanley Cup and that is exactly what he did. In a seven game series against their division rivals, the Dallas Stars, St. Louis found themselves right where they needed to be in order win. In double overtime on home ice, the Blues had been facing a goaltender who was almost impossible to beat all game, until Maroon knocked the puck past Ben Bishop to score one of the biggest goals in Blues history — Sending his hometown team to the Western Conference Finals for a rematch with the San Jose Sharks. Thank you again, Pat.
2. Tarasenko ties the game with 6.4 seconds to play - April 19, 2014
Even after the Cup run, I am still a firm believer that this is the loudest that Kiel/Savvis/Scottrade/Enterprise Center has ever been. Down 3-2 to the Blackhawks in game two of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blues were looking for the tying goal to get the game to overtime. On the power play and with the goalie pulled, St. Louis had Chicago hemmed in their own zone and it was only a matter of time until they forced one home. Corey Crawford made some saves but was no match for the wicked wrist shot from you know who, Vladimir Tarasenko, who tied the game with 6.4 seconds left in regulation. An excellent screen in front by T.J. Oshie and sustained pressure by the Blues finally broke through — It was madness. I’ll never forget Tarasenko’s celebration, the look of defeat from Crawford and call on the TV. It was just about perfect. Even after winning the Cup, this is still my favorite Blues goal.
1. The St. Louis Blues raise their Stanley Cup Champions banner - Oct. 2, 2019
Going back to what I said at the start of this piece: If I wanted to, I could have made this entire list all moments from the Cup run: Jaden Schwartz’s hat tricks, Jordan Binnington’s incredible save in game seven or the Blues advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. That being said, only including those would not be giving other moments in the decade the recognition they deserve, too.
With that in mind, this right here was what we had all been waiting for and what every moment over the last 52 years had been working towards. I know I speak for many people when I say that this was such a fun ride and was so exciting to watch night in and night out regardless of the result.
Finally seeing that banner hang in the rafters is a sight that some thought they would never see — Including myself. There was no better way to cap off the decade than how the Blues did, by raising their first Stanley Cup Champions banner. From consistently being one of the better teams in the league throughout most of the decade, to hosting the Winter Classic in 2017 and now claiming their first Stanley Cup in 2019 — It has been an overall positive decade.
Wash, rinse and repeat, Blues. While it is great to look back, I’m ready to look forward now, starting with an exciting All-Star weekend in 2020 (And if I am lucky, hopefully some more irresponsible purchases on 2020 Cup champions merchandise, too).
Happy New Year!