St. Louis Blues forward Zach Sanford has been waiting for a chance to get back in the lineup. He might have the next unbelievable Blues playoff tale.
The St. Louis Blues run toward their first Stanley Cup has been filled with unbelievable tales. Some are mere coincidence and some make you wonder if there are larger forces at work.
It seems these tales pop up at the most interesting of times too. The Blues still haven’t won a game in the final? That was apparently solved by a bathroom conversation.
Of course, one of the more famous tales to come out of the playoffs so far was Robert Bortuzzo‘s Nostradamus friend. In a text conversation, the friend predicted Bortz’ game-winning goal, which he provided against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.
Now, we might have another fortune teller on our hands. When Zach Sanford got removed from the Blues lineup before Game 4 against Winnipeg, his friend Chris Calnan told him to keep his head up.
Calnan said, as reported by Sports Illustrated, Sanford was going to get back in there and score the game winner against Boston in a Game 7. This was in the first round, before anyone knew how far any of these teams would go. St. Louis won in six and Boston got their toughest test from Toronto.
"“I said, ‘Dude, keep your head up,’” Calnan recalls. “I told him, ‘Be ready, because you’re going to get in. You’re going to be playing the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. And you’re going to dangle Zdeno Chara for the Game 7 winner in Boston.” – Chris Calnan in Sports Illustrated"
For the sake of my nerves and that of many other Blues fans, hopefully this prediction does not come all the way true. I think I will be in the hospital if this goes seven games.
That said, it is an interesting prediction given there was no reason for Sanford to return with how the Blues were playing. Now, the NHL has stepped in and provided Sanford with a possible route to fulfill this prophecy.
Oskar Sundqvist was suspended for Game 3 of the final. With Robert Thomas’ availability still a question mark, Sanford will now, at the very least, be a game-time decision.
For Blues fans, this is both frustrating and exciting. The frustrating part comes on what feels like an unjust suspension and potentially having to rely on a player that has not played since April 16. That is over a month without competitive hockey.
On the flip side, you know that Sanford is chomping at the bit. He was disappointed by his exclusion from further games after the Jets series and has something to prove. He also has the intriguing aspect of playing against the team he grew up rooting for.
A Boston-area native, Sanford will be only the second Massachusetts-born player to face Boston in the Final if he plays. If he does, let us all hope that his friend is as good at predictions as Bortuzzo’s.
Be sure to check out the Sports Illustrated article linked above. It is a fascinating look at the trials Sanford has had to go through this season.
Let us all hope it is another in a line of growing stories, or what might become tales, if the Blues end up winning the big one.