The holiday spirit was alive and well in the city of St. Louis on December 14th, 2019. Little did we know that this night would go down in history as the franchise’s most magnificent comeback win in regulation for our St. Louis Blues. I am a person who loves to live through experiences and re-telling them if the moment is right. Saturday night, December 14th, was one that I really cannot let go of without telling the story. It’s less a moment of grandeur rather than just thinking, “Wow, we came back and beat the Chicago Blackhawks down 3-0 in the last 15 minutes of regulation!”
My wife and I had friends in town from Morton, Illinois. Morton is close to Peoria. Both are diehard Hawks fans, and we’ve been friends for about eight years. We exchange heartfelt jabs when the Blues & Hawks play, and they were genuinely happy for us when The Blues won The Cup, which makes our relationship even more meaningful as friends. Saturday night was just another unassuming meeting between both teams as we met for dinner on Main Street in St. Charles as the Christmas festivities encompassed the area.
While dining in one establishment, we saw two periods of the Blues pounding the net while coming up empty. Through 40 minutes, it looked as though the Blues might be able to get on the board. Even though we trailed 1-0 with a goal from Chicago’s Brandon Saad, leaving one establishment for another, I’m thinking we can still make it a game even with our Hawks fans that were staying with us in tow.
Once inside, the crowd was growing. The patrons were more in favor of varying degrees of holiday parties and fewer fans watching the game. Thirty seconds into the 3rd, Brandon Saad adds another making it 2-0. My buddy and I exchanged looks. I thought, “Well, if we can’t pull our act together, this will be another dud, and the team deserves a reckoning every once in a while even after Toronto just did the same thing last weekend.”
My buddy, Bubba, Scott, is his real name, but everyone calls him Bubba. Bubba says to me, “Let’s make a bet; whoever loses buys breakfast in the morning.” Fair enough as I conceded to the bet thinking, we’ll never dig ourselves out of this hole. It was only fitting as we agreed to the bet Patrick Kane makes it 3-0 with a staunch 15 minutes left. Much to my surprise Tyler Bozak in his 700th NHL game, makes it 3-1 24 seconds later. At this time, I was still comfortable with the fact that we would ultimately lose this game — no way we’re erasing this deficit as much as a fan as I am for this team.
Grinding it out continued over the next 15 minutes as Bozak makes it 3-2 with 6:52 left in the game. Bubba and I exchange looks, and 12 seconds later, Jacob de la Rose ties it. At this point, I am elated. Bubba rolled his eyes, and Corey Crawford surely felt rage as he played such a solid game thus far.
The atmosphere in the bar turned from holiday fun into full-on St. Louis Blues mania as we witnessed Justin Faulk score the go-ahead goal with 2:36 left in the game to put our boys on top. Indeed, at this point, I felt like I knew who was paying for breakfast the next day. I still needed to hold on before friendly ribbing ensued.
The final horn signaled a victory, and all was well in the land. The most thrilling aspect of this entire game realized we had never come from behind to capture a victory trailing 3-0 in regulation. The last time our boys trailed and won was against Toronto in 2000. We were in 5-0 hole only to win 6-5 in OT. While this victory may seem like another two points to add to our 2019-2020 resume, it really should be one that resonates with our fans to show the grit it takes to keep peeling away at the layers of the opponent.
In a game where the stars are aligned and on paper should be a comfortable victory, we witnessed a team that failed to give up and continued to persevere. A group lauded with injuries, and frequent call ups showed that even the most unassuming teammates could shine their light brightly, especially when nobody expects them to come through on a nightly basis.
This current roster makes me feel we can legitimately dismantle any team in front of us with the right mindset. Should we make the playoffs, we will potentially be the team that nobody wants to compete against. There is no giving in with this team.
Thank you for reading. Take care of yourselves and each other.