The St. Louis Blues will face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in four years. Interestingly, there is a pattern that might favor the Blues.
When St. Louis Blues fans learned they would be facing the San Jose Sharks for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Final, there was mixed reaction. Some fans loved it and others got worried.
Those that liked it focused on the revenge factor. They want to see the Blues leap over the Shark hurdle that stood in their way and tripped them up in 2016, the last time these two teams met in the postseason.
Those that are worried might be worried for the same reason. A very similar Sharks team filled with many of the same veterans, plus some new, shiny toys, took down the Blues in relatively easy fashion.
Adding to that worry was something discussed in our series preview. The Blues have gone 1-2 each of the past two seasons against San Jose. It’s been more than two seasons since St. Louis won in the Shark Tank. The regular season is not the playoffs, but that trend is worrisome.
In that same article, it was pointed out that this Blues team is not the same as those. There are new faces and fresh blood and an entirely different way of playing, even from the early games against the Sharks in 2018-19.
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Even so, history has a way of rearing its head. That is especially true in the Blues case as it seems like no matter what you do, the same things manage to happen.
However, in this rare instance, history might be on the Blues side. There is an odd pattern that has formed between these two teams and if it holds true, the Blues would emerge victorious.
This will be the sixth time the Blues and Sharks have played each other in the postseason in the last 20 years. That’s a surprisingly high number given that they are not in the same division.
Of course, we all remember (unless you’re too young) that debacle in 1999-2000. St. Louis won the Presidents Trophy as the best team in the regular season.
They went up against San Jose in the opening round and lost in seven games. That one was all the more painful since the Blues trailed 3-1, tied the series up and then lost Game 7 at home.
However, St. Louis got their revenge the following season. En route to the conference finals, they took down the Sharks in six games.
The next time these two met was the spring of 2004. The Blues were on the tail end of their run with that core group and San Jose dispatched them in five games.
It would be eight, long years before the blue took on the teal, but it would be worth the wait. After dropping the first game, in overtime, St. Louis won four straight and took the series in five games.
The last time these teams met was the aforementioned conference finals in 2016. The Blues hung tough and did what they could, but making that series last six games was generous. The Blues were just out of gas and could not contend with what San Jose was throwing at them.
In case you missed out on the pattern, it is St. Louis’ turn to win it. These two franchises have traded series wins back and forth each time they have face one another.
San Jose won in the conference finals the last time. This time, it is the Blues turn to take the spoils of war.
There is not as much pattern with how many games it has taken. It went 7, 6, 5, 5, 6. So, perhaps in theory, this one would go seven since that number does not have a match.
Still, that would be possibly the most nerve-wracking seven games in many of our sports lives. Many of us were not around when the team went to the Final the last time. We do not know what it is like to even think about winning that final series.
It is going to be a huge challenge, but maybe…just maybe, history will be on the side of the Note this time.