After a horrifying four-loss streak to end the season against the Los Angeles Kings, fans of the blue note have to suffer long through another brutal summer with the knowledge that a team so full of promise and hope fell short in the playoffs once again. The Blues have always played the role of a good team, sometimes they’ve even shown signs of greatness. Aside from that stretch of rough seasons after the ’04-’05 lockout, they’ve contended on a consistent basis in a tough division against skilled rival teams.
While the city of Los Angeles celebrated their victory over the Blues, I sadly realized, once again, that as much as I loved the team, their trophy rack lacked the most important title: a Stanley Cup. In the 46 years that the Blues have existed, not once have they won it all. A cold thought from a desolate place in my mind crept up and shocked me, as I imagine it would shock most proud St. Louisans.
Who else hasn’t won a championship in God knows how long? Are the Blues the Chicago Cubs of the NHL? Am I, as a Blues fan, cheering with as much futility as someone with season tickets at Wrigley Field?
Barring a miraculous summer campaign, the Cubs will have gone 105 years come October without a World Series victory after winning one in 1908 (they also won in 1907) well before World War I and only four years after St. Louis’ World’s Fair. The Blues however lack a title even from a bygone era when cars were the hot new thing.
However, the Blues have a history of sustained success that the Cubs lack. St.Louis made the playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons between 1979 and 2004, third most in league history, while the Cubs have only ever made the playoffs 16 times since 1906 (the Blues have 36 playoff appearances total). The Cubbies’ longest streak was three from 1906-1908. Since 1876, the Cubs have gone 10390-9907, eeking just over .500 in the process (.512). The Blues, meanwhile have a much lower winning percentage at .442, having won 1,685 out of 3,809 games. But if you add OT losses (101) and ties (432), games in which St. Louis won points, it ramps up to a .582 points-earned percentage.
The Blues have also enjoyed a considerable amount of talent in the past, inducting 17 players into the Hall of Fame. The Cubs have only inducted 13, 15 or 17 (sources vary) in a much longer stretch of time.
St. Louis certainly seems to enjoy a better performance over the years than the Lovable Losers. For more than a century, the Cubs have flashed brilliance on occasion, but they’ve wallowed in mediocrity and demise more often than not. The Blues, on the other hand, consistently show promise from season to season.
I have faith the Blues will eventually win a Cup, but maybe it’s only because I don’t want to start blaming a long dead goat for our woes.