RELATED LINK: Best Photos of 2019
2019 was a good year for the St. Louis Blues.
Like, the best year in franchise history good.
The Blues not only made an incredible run from the start of the year to win their first Stanley Cup in team history, but they continued that run through this season and to the end of 2019.
The club posted a 56-19-11 record (123 points) in 2019, matching a franchise record for wins in a calendar year and setting a record for points in a calendar year. Both of those stats led the NHL, marking just the second time in franchise history the Blues led the League in both wins and points in a calendar year. The other time was 2000, when the Blues posted a 54-13-11-1 record for 120 points and eventually won the Presidents' Trophy.
One of the biggest surprises of the 2019 calendar year was goaltender Jordan Binnington. He made his first NHL start on Jan. 7 in Philadelphia, posting a 25-save shutout in a Blues' 3-0 win. He became the 35th goaltender in NHL history to post a shutout in his first career start. As we know, it didn't stop there for Binnington as went on to post 24 wins and five shutouts in the regular season, both franchise records for rookie goaltenders. He also went 16-10-2 with a 2.46 goals-against average, a .914 save-percentage and one shutout to become the first rookie goaltender in NHL history to record all 16 of his team's playoff wins en route to a Stanley Cup Championship.
Including both the regular season and postseason, Binnington posted a 59-21-5 record, becoming just the third goaltender in NHL history to reach 59 wins in a calendar year. Marc-Andre Fleury, who holds the record, posted 62 wins with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup.
A couple other Blues also made their mark in the 2019 calendar year. Ryan O'Reilly shared 12th in the NHL with 55 assists in 2019 and ranked 24th in the NHL with 76 points. And oh yeah - he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after posting a franchise record 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in the 2019 postseason.
Alex Pietrangelo ranked fifth in the NHL amongst defensemen with 19 goals in 2019, 10th with 42 assists and sixth with 61 points. More importantly, perhaps - he became the first player in Blues history to hoist the Stanley Cup above his head.
No Blues fan will ever forget 2019. Here are some of the great moments from each month:
On Jan. 3, the Blues woke up with a record of 15-18-4 (34 points), good for last place in the NHL. The Blues would go on to post a 30-10-5 record the rest of the regular season - the most points in the NHL during that span - and a third place finish in the Central Division.
The Blues posted 12-2-1 record in the month of February, including 10 wins of their franchise-best 11-game winning streak (first win was Jan. 23 at Anaheim). Their 12 wins was a franchise record for the month of February and tied the most wins they have ever had in a calendar month (12 wins in April 2013).
The Blues punched their ticket to the postseason on March 29, a feat that seemed impossible at the beginning of January. The Blues became the seventh team in the NHL's Expansion Era (since 1967-68) to reach the postseason after ranking last in the League after New Year's Day.
The Blues defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 in the best-of-seven first-round series, winning all four games by just one goal and winning all three games on the road at Bell MTS Centre.
The Blues defeated the Dallas Stars in the second-round of the playoffs on Pat Maroon's double overtime game-winner in Game 7. Maroon became the seventh player in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime, while Robert Thomas, who assisted on Maroon's winner, became the second teenager in NHL history to factor in on a series-clinching overtime goal (The other was Bep Guidolin of the Boston Bruins in 1943). The Blues also defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games in the Western Conference Final to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.
The Blues claimed their first Stanley Cup in franchise history on June 12 in Boston. The Blues became the first team from any of the four major North American sports leagues (NHL/NFL/MLB/NBA) to win a title after occupying last place overall in the standings after one-quarter or more of the season's games. The Blues posted a 10-3 road record in the 2019 postseason, matching the NHL record for most road wins in a single playoff year, joining the 1995 New Jersey Devils, 2004 Calgary Flames, 2012 Los Angeles Kings, 2000 New Jersey Devils and the 2018 Washington Capitals.
July / August / September
Players, coaches and members of the organization traveled around the world to enjoy their day with the Stanley Cup. During its time with the Blues, Lord Stanley crossed three continents, visited five countires, eight Canadian provinces and 13 U.S. states, traveling nearly 40,000 miles.
Including the parade in July and visits throughout the summer in the community, the Cup is estimated to have been seen live by 1.35 million people since the Blues first hoisted it in June.
The Blues opened the NHL season on Oct. 2 vs. Washington and raised their first-ever Stanley Cup championship banner to the rafters at Enterprise Center.
The Blues swept their four-game road trip (Nov. 2-9), marking the second time in franchise history the Blues swept a road trip of four or more games (the team previously went 5-0-0 on a road trip from Feb. 6-15, 2017). David Perron scored the overtime winner on the last game of the road trip (Nov. 9 at Calgary), becoming the first player in NHL history to score three overtime goals prior to his team's 20th game of the season.
The Blues won eight of their last nine games in 2019. They share second in the NHL standings with a 26-9-6 record (58 points), just one point behind the Washington Capitals for first in the League.
The Blues came a long way in 2019, beginning the year in last place overall in the standings and ending the year in first place in the Western Conference - a pretty poetic ending to the best year in franchise history.
Here's to 2020!