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The Path to Stanley Cup Champion
The St. Louis Blues are officially Stanley Cup Champions! Completing a miraculous comeback after the team found itself in last place in early January, the Blues ended a 52-year wait to bring their first title back to The Gateway City.
This year, the team’s young line-up had some big moments and played a significant role in helping the team complete one of the most inspiring runs in NHL history. Forwards Zach Sanford and Ivan Barbashev, both emerged with career-high stats and have been getting attention since the championship game, especially with Sanford scoring the final goal in the 4-1 match-up.
Here’s a look back at the season’s best moments for the two champions:
The 2018-2019 season proved to be Zach Sanford’s best yet, with the Boston College alum playing in a career-high 60 regular season games. With an additional eight appearances in the playoffs, including five during the Stanley Cup Final, Sanford proved himself as one to watch next season.
During the regular season, Sanford had his best goal, assist and point output of his career. And during the Blues’ playoff run, he made sure to save his best for last by scoring the final goal in Game 7 against his childhood favorite Bruins.
Reflecting after the game, Sanford told NBCSports “I couldn’t dream of scoring in a game like this, let alone winning.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for Sanford in the coming years as he continues to make his mark on the league. Blues’ fans will surely remember and appreciate the impact he had during the team’s first cup run.
The 2018-2019 season proved Russian-born Ivan Barbashev is here to stay. Featured in 80 regular season games and with 25 appearances during the team’s playoff run, we can expect to see Barbashev’s offensive skills on display even more next season.
During the course of the regular season, Barbashev put up an impressive 26 points for the Blues’ fourth line and finished with a career-high season faceoff percentage at 45.58. In the playoffs, he took it up a notch, creating additional possession opportunities for him and his teammates with a 48.28 faceoff percentage.
During the Blues’ run to the finals, Barbashev’s greatest impact came through in his performance against the San Jose Sharks. Finishing with two goals and an assist during the six games, it was Barbashev’s goal 35 seconds into Game 4 that set the tone for the Blues who found themselves down 2-1 in the series following a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 3.
The future is bright for both Sanford and Barbashev and they proved on the biggest stage in the sport that they know how to #PlayHuge!
Looking for drills that are fit for a champion? Check out Sanford’s Skill & Drill to master receiving passes on your backhand and quickly getting a shot off.