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Stanley Cup Final 2019: Three takeaways from Blues' Game 7 win

Sporting News logo Sporting News 6/13/2019 Thomas Lott
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The Blues are the Stanley Cup champions.

St. Louis took down the Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday to earn the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history.

And, while this was a dominating score well out of reach of the Bruins, this game was all about Jordan Binnington.

The rookie goalie saw 32 shots and stopped 33 of them.

A late shot from Matt Grzelcyk snuck in the corner to ruin the shutout but at that point it was too late. The Blues were the champs.

Here are three takeaways from Game 7

The easiest takeaway ever written

If there is no Binnington, the Blues trade Ryan O'Reilly. If there's no Binnington, St. Louis has a top-10 pick in the NHL Draft. If there is no Binny, the Missouri team may have finished where it sat in January — in dead last. But unfortunately for the Bruins, there is Binnington and now the Stanley Cup is bound for St. Louis.

The rookie goalie was absolutely phenomenal in Game 7. He stood on his head in the first period stopping all 12 shots he faced, including several which made virtually no sense.

And he did all of this while his teammates were neither getting shots on goal nor giving him any help as they had several bad turnovers in the first period, as well. But that didn't matter because he's made of nails. Binnington held his ground long enough to give his teammates a chance and they thanked him with two late goals in the period.

Those goals helped Binnington become the first-ever rookie goalie to win 16 playoff games in a single season. Binnington might be the best thing to ever happen to the Blues.

A problem re-emerges

Binnington also forced the Bruins into some old bad habits in Game 7. Because of the amazing stops he continually made in the first period, Boston looked like it was getting skittish.

As a result, it started doing the one thing a team can't do against an incredibly physical team like St. Louis — it started over passing again. Multiple times in the second period, Boston had chances to shoot but it didn't take them. In one moment in particular, Brad Marchand had an open lane to the net and just didn't pull the trigger.

To steal an old saying: "You can't win unless you score." The Bruins didn't score in those first two periods, and a big reason they didn't score in the second was because they often wouldn't shoot.

What happened to Pastrnak?

When the season started there might not have been a more talked about young player in the NHL than David Pastrnak. The 23-year-old lit up the net at the beginning of the year and couldn't be stopped from putting points up.

But in these playoffs he had some serious struggles, as did all of the Bruins' top line. That line was possibly the best in the NHL all season long, but it went through big stretches in the NHL playoffs where it didn't do what it needed to, especially in five-on-five situations.

In Game 7, Pastrnak drove home the point of his disappointing run by whiffing on three separate shots in the first period. Maybe Binnington would have stopped them, maybe he wouldn't have. But it's a lot harder to stop 15 shots in a period than it is to stop 12 and Pastrnak came up empty when his team needed him to make a statement. It wasn't a great showing from the youngster.

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