For the St. Louis Blues, Pat Maroon became a folk hero almost overnight, even if it was a long time coming for him. Maroon had gone though a lot leading up to his personal memorable moments during the 2019 Stanley Cup run.
While the official term of being called a hometown hero would not be coined until June 15, Maroon got the ball rolling more than a month prior. In fact, all the stars were aligned for Maroon on that fateful night.
There are plenty of times when sports fans grasp at straws when associating moments with certain dates or numbers. Most of the time, it’s a vain effort to help us remember something.
On rare occasion, we are gifted with moments that defy conventional logic and actually seem to be small gifts from the heavens above. May 7, 2019 was one of those days where it seemed fate had it all planned out well in advance.
To refresh your memory, May 7 was all about the number seven. There was no avoiding it.
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The Blues clashed with the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the conference semifinals. Game 7 was played on May 7.
Game 7, on May 7, dropped the puck at 7 pm Central Time. As we all know by now, number 7 of the Blues won the game and sent fans into a frenzy.
Oh, by the way. It was Pat Maroon’s rally towel night, which meant they were little number 7 jerseys in towel form.
Maroon was never a big scorer in the NHL, but he managed to get things done when it mattered most. It’s not that the skill was never there, since he scored a ton in junior, but he had to settle into a more physical role based on his size and, frankly, due to his overzealous personality.
Maroon did most of his scoring in that playoff run early. He had a goal against the Winnipeg Jets and then two goals in that Stars series.
Interestingly enough, all of Maroon’s goals came in wins. Both goals against the Stars proved to be game winning goals on top of all that.
It was that Game 7 goal that people will never forget. It was the stuff of legends, even if it wasn’t something that would make the highlight reels based on the play by itself.
For Maroon, even beyond just winning the game and the series, the goal was the embodiment of his style. He was involved right from the start.
Thomas did a little dipsy doodle and roofed a shot that hit the crossbar. Instead of clanging straight out, the puck dropped off the back of the goaltender.
Maroon was right where he needed to be. The Big Rig had crashed the net and had both the quickness and reach to tap it in before a defender could react.
It was a magical moment that most Blues fans will never forget. It didn’t get them into the final or win the Stanley Cup, but without it, the Blues do not win the Cup.
The only way the moment could have been better is if it also had something to do with the number seven. The goal was scored with 14:10 left in double overtime.
Four overtimes, which would have been the seventh period, would have been unbearable, especially for those that had to work the next morning. Getting the goal with seven minutes played or left in the second OT would have been a nice little cherry, but you take the moment when it comes.
If we really want to stretch this out, it bears noting that Jay Bouwmeester denied Roope Hintz‘ wraparound in the third period with 58.7 seconds left. Without that particular seven, Maroon would never have gotten his chance at glory.
There were so many moments during that championship run, but this one is one of those particular moments that will likely outgrow itself. While not on that level, it could very well become the Blues version of the Miracle on Ice in a way.
We all forget that the Miracle on Ice didn’t win the United States a medal. They had another game after that.
Similarly, years down the road, we might forget that this was not even the conference final. It was a second round matchup.
Still, this goal on this night, with all the intricacies sprinkled on top of it by fate or any higher power, is what made Maroon a true hometown hero. Sure, he might have blurted that out even without the goal if the Blues still won that Cup, but it made all the sense in the world given he won that series.
P.S. as more evidence that fate has a sense of humor, on May 7, 2021, the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing the Dallas Stars. Maroon might not be wearing 7 right now, but that’s still pretty funny.