St. Louis Blues Huge Comeback In 2000 More Than Just A November Game

Pavol Demitra #38 DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/ALLSPORT
Pavol Demitra #38 DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/ALLSPORT /

The St. Louis Blues have been comeback kids plenty of times. A certain game in 2000 was more than just a regular season comeback though.

20 years ago, at the end of November, the St. Louis Blues accomplished one of the biggest comebacks in their history and also in the league. St. Louis erased a 5-0 deficit and defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A lot of the time, a game in the early part of any regular season will fade into the shadows no matter how spectacular it was. This one stands the test of time for many reasons.

The Blues were already off to a good start that season, but getting thumped by Toronto was somewhat of a downer. St. Louis had battled the Leafs to a hard-fought 0-0 tie (yes, there were ties back in 2000) earlier that month on November 4.

Suddenly both the defense and Roman Turek opened the gates and Toronto came right in and got cozy. It was 4-0 after two periods, but that still gives a glimmer of hope to the die hard fans.

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Toronto seemed to snuff that out when Tie Domi scored early in the third. Five goals just seemed too much to overcome.

Two minutes after that Maple Leafs goal, Chris Pronger scored with a blast off the faceoff and the Blues really went to work. They got two, consecutive power play goals coming from Alexander Khavanov and Al MacInnis.

Suddenly, it was a two-goal game with still more than half the period left. Michael Hanzus scored on a backhander with more than five minutes left and it seemed destined to happen.

Toronto clamped down, but just when it appeared they would hang on by their fingernails, the Blues tied it. With just 25 seconds left, Khavanov scored his second of the game from the slot, guaranteeing the Blues at least a point.

It took almost three periods for the Blues to get five goals. It only took 18 seconds to get the sixth.

Jochen Hecht won the game with a one-timer, set up from behind the net. It was a comeback for the ages that could only have been improved if it was a playoff game.

Nevertheless, despite being just the 23rd game of the season, it was much more than that. It would prove to be a harbinger of things to come.

Similar to how we look back on games that happened in 2018-19 that proved how the St. Louis Blues would overcome adversity and win the Stanley Cup, this game had the same affect on that year’s Blues team. That kind of win put wind in their sails that helped carry them all the way to the 2001 Western Conference Final.

The team proved it could defend at will, even when they had a bad game. Despite playing poorly in front of Turek, the Blues poured it on afterward, only allowing two shots against Brent Johnson.

This game was also vintage Ken Wilson. The Oh Baby’s were flying around like wildfire. The former Blues announcer was ultimately divisive among fans, but he will always be one of my personal favorites for how exciting he could make a dull game, even though this particular one was not dull in any sense of the word.

Not only was this a hint of how that entire season would go, but it was also just amazing to see. The Blues have traded goals back and forth or won games with just as many goals scored in total.

To see them fall behind by five goals and then score six straight was one of the most memorable things in my fandom. How many other regular season games can stake a claim to something like that?

There were several moments of sweet revenge that season. Curtis Joseph had owned the Blues most of the time, but lighting him up was quite sweet. That Blues team would go on to sweep Brett Hull and the Dallas Stars in the playoffs.

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Unfortunately, that team was not quite built for the final, long haul and fell to the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs. Still, it was an entertaining season with an entertaining beginning, showcased by this miraculous comeback.