On the sixth day of Bluesmas, the universe gave to us – the Chief who would lead the St. Louis Blues to the promised land.
The St. Louis Blues could not have known what a monumental day it would be 55 years ago. In fact, they could not have realized anything since they did not technically exist yet.
While Craig Berube was born on December 17, babies aren’t often seen by the rest of the world until the day after. So, on the sixth day of Bluesmas, 55 years ago, the universe brought into existence the man who would one day lead a long suffering fan base to the holy chalice of hockey.
It is fitting he was born in the holy season since it seemed as though it might take a miracle from above to allow the Blues to finally win a Stanley Cup. It took a very long time and a coach that few expected to take the team there when he did, but it happened and we have Craig Berube to thank for it, at least in part.
In his short tenure in charge of the Blues, Berube has accomplished so much. Obviously the biggest feat was winning that championship.
Beyond that, he currently holds the top spot for points percentage among Blues coaches. Sure, part of that is inflated due to the team having fewer games played, but it’s still something to have a .657 in that category (points divided by maximum number of points a team could have earned).
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The interesting thing about Berube is he has not had a full season with the Blues. He has been behind the bench for two “seasons”, but never coached a full season in either of them.
Chief was behind the bench for 63 games during the 2018-19 season and then 70 games in 2019-20. If you want to get technical, he was there for all 82 in 18-19, but he was not the official coach since Mike Yeo started the season.
Berube has been instrumental in the Blues success over the last two seasons, though. He knew the right buttons to push on almost ever player that came his way.
Steen still had talent and skill enough to be on the third line, but he served the team best by taking a lesser role so there would be gas in the tank all playoffs. Berube had to sell that without coming off too strong the way Ken Hitchcock used to.
Coincidentally, at least for the purposes of this article, Berbue is pretty much guaranteed to be in sixth place or higher on the Blues all-time win list. As of right now, he is in eighth place with 80 wins in the regular season.
Jacques Demers has 106 wins in sixth place, so even in a 56-game season, you would imagine the Blues can pull off at least 27 wins. Berube might jump even higher with a solid year, as Scotty Bowman is at 110 wins and Andy Murray is at 118 wins.
Ultimately, the first day of Bluesmas is brought to you by the sixth day. Without Berube, there might be no Stanley Cup ring sitting under our trees.