The St. Louis Blues have provided several memorable moments for all fans over the course of their history. Whether you were around for the first ever goal scored in team history or didn’t come around until Vladimir Tarasenko entered the scene, you’ve got your own great memories.
Of course, at the top of the list is winning the 2019 Stanley Cup. Perhaps there’s a higher moment in an individual’s life, such as meeting a significant other or a first kiss or something, but for the general fan base, it’s going to be winning the Cup.
The second best moment almost has to be April 25, 1993. That’s the day the Blues broke Ed Belfour.
Some fans might say, well what about this game or that goal from the series against the Boston Bruins. I’m cheating and lumping them all into one.
Others might point to Jaden Schwartz‘ goal against the Winnipeg Jets or something in the series against Dallas or San Jose. All great choices.
For me, the moment of April 25 just came at the perfect time. While I was a fan for years prior to that, I was still just getting into hockey.
The rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks was a very real thing, especially if you have family in the Chicago area. Given how good the Blackhawks had been (Stanley Cup runners-up in 1991 and favorites in several other years), any time the Blues could knock them off their perch was a great time.
However, when you can truly break the hearts of a rival, there is just something sweeter about that. Perhaps it’s not very neighborly, but that’s how it goes in sports.
For those that were not around, April 25, 1993 was the day when the Blues completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. It was ended in about as spectacular fashion as it could be.
The game went into overtime. It was a classic, though another example of the Blues not holding a lead.
St. Louis scored first and, of course, it was a Brett Hull goal. Chicago answered with two in the second period, but the Blues bounced back in the third.
Hull scored again and also assisted on Brendan Shanahan‘s goal to make it 3-2. Chicago tied it up late in the third.
The Blues could have crumbled in the overtime period, especially since the Blackhawks gained the momentum from the late goal. Instead, St. Louis stuck the knife in.
Everyone was involved in that play. Hull dumped it in and Dave Lowry took the body in the corner on the forecheck.
The Blues got the puck back after a collision between Hull and Belfour on the side of the net. Craig Janney made the interception and then made Blues history. Ok, maybe history is a stretch, but it was marvelous.
Janney, for his part, didn’t do a ton on that particular play. He was in the right spot at the right time.
He made the play along the wall, flung it toward goal and the net was still empty at the time. Still, it was a top notch game for him because he assisted on two goals and then scored the game winner.
As a Blues fan, winning was fantastic, but nothing beats Belfour’s reaction. The guy was the Bill Laimbeer of hockey goalies – sorry, that’s another 1990’s reference – meaning he was about as dirty as he was skilled.
In today’s game, that likely would have been called interference. The argument against it, clearly from the Blues perspective, is that Hull tried to avoid contact by sliding between Belfour and the post and Belfour’s movement to get back to the net took away that space, making it incidental contact.
While we all would feel hard done if situations were reversed, seeing him freak out and smash his stick on the post while the official ducks for cover is and always will be one of my favorite memories. For those that were around at the time, it likely ranks high for them too.