When the St. Louis Blues drew the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the NHL playoffs, we should have known any chance at a Blackhawks-Blues ratings dream in the second round was gone.
I guess it was obvious the Wild were going to win in six games because that’s what the Blues’ first-round opponents have now done for three straight seasons. All three times, St. Louis was the higher seed.
Seriously, April for Blues fans must be a lot like Bill Murray’s life in Groundhog Day.
We thought this year might have been different because the Blues won the division instead of finishing second the last two seasons. This would be the year the St. Louis Blues actually did something come winning time.
At this point, it’s hard to know whether they’re cursed or just massively overdue. If it weren’t for a first round win in 2012 – before the three year run of choking purgatory began – the Blues wouldn’t have a first round playoff victory in more than ten seasons.
Nothing compares to these last two seasons when the Blues notched their second and third 50-win seasons in the history of the franchise – only to once again shit their pants when it matters.
It’s one thing to sneak into the playoffs and bow out first round. But the Blues have been the “next great team in hockey” for about three seasons now, and we’re still waiting.
Of course, Blues fans have been waiting for a goddamn eternity. Since losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in their first three seasons from 1967-1970, the St. Louis Blues have never been back.
Saying that the ensuing 45 years have been unproductive would be quite the understatement.
Hockey tweet! The Blackhawks have won 13 playoff series' the last 7 appearances. The Blues have won 18 playoff series' last 36 appearances.
— Robert (@ALionEye) April 26, 2015
Of course, you could say that stat speaks more about the Blackhawks – but that’s not the point. The overarching story here is that the St. Louis Blues are quite possibly the worst NHL playoff team of all time.
Toronto Maple Leafs fans would like to volunteer themselves out of self-pity, and for good reason: The Maple Leafs have the longest Stanley Cup Final appearance drought in the NHL, at 47 seasons.
But during the same time period (1970 and on) that it took the St. Louis Blues 36 playoff appearances to win 18 series, it only took Toronto 23.
The Blues latest collapse pushed their Stanley Cup drought to 44 seasons, second only to the Maple Leafs. While Toronto can hold onto the fact they’ve been a travesty for ten years, the lack of postseason production by St. Louis is pretty unique to professional sports.
The only comparison that pops into my head, sadly, is the Chicago Cubs.
Obviously, the Blues’ playoff futility is still counted in decades as opposed to centuries. Not to mention, the Cubs just started becoming a real MLB organization about five years ago.
I wouldn’t toss out a Cubs comparison lightly, but in terms of awful postseason performance for the entirety of a franchise’s existence – there isn’t anything else like it.
And if there were ever a time for the Blues to change the story, it’s been these past two years – when they set or tied their franchise win record both seasons.
Then again, we probably should have seen this coming.
(Featured Image courtesy of Sarah Connors)