Football In High Heels

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Stanley Cup Final Thoughts from NBC Sports

NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finalcontinued tonight on NBCSN, as the Boston Bruins took a 2-1 series lead by dominating the St. Louis Blues 7-2 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. It was the first Stanley Cup Final game played in St. Louis in 49 years.

Seven-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuirehad the call from TD Garden in Boston. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports.

Pre-game coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with a two-hour edition of NHL Live. Host Liam McHugh anchored pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.

Kathryn Tappen and McHugh hosted pre-game and post-game coverage from outside sets in St. Louis, capturing the scene amongst the fans alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, Anson Carter, and Patrick Sharp. Jones and Olczyk also joined pre-game coverage outside. NHL Live special guests to visit the outdoor set included Emmy Award-winning actor and Blues fan Jon Hamm, and former Blues player Keith Tkachuk. Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

NHL Live features included:

  • Blues C Ryan O’Reilly, whose parents operated a foster home when he was growing up, estimating that they hosted 47 children during Ryan’s childhood. Ryan’s brother Cal O’Reilly joined Tappen and Roenick on set to talk about his brother and their family.
  • The impressive post-season play of Bruins G Tuukka Rask.
  • The origins of the Blues’ victory song Gloria, including a live hit from The Jacks NYB in Philadelphia, Pa., where the phenomenon began.
  • Blues LW and St. Louis-native Pat Maroon, who took a pay cut to play in his hometown.

Post-Game

Jones on the series: “Stay tuned, it’s a long way from being over.”

Third Period

McGuire after Blues make it 5-2 on power-play goal: “That was just not a good penalty for Zdeno Chara to take, and he knows it.”

Emrick: “The Bruins with yet another power-play goal and it is 7-2…Four shots on four power plays and four goals. No wasted motion by these guys.”

Emrick: “What a night for Boston, 7-2, and an exclamation point on a game that was met with a lot of thundering ovation and great anticipation here in St. Louis. But they have another one to try to get back to even coming up two nights from now on Monday. A five-goal deficit. You can only lose one game in one night.”

Emrick: “And the Bruins have surgically and decisively taken a lead in the series, 2-1, with a 7-2 win tonight in St. Louis…No Gloria tonight. The Monty Python song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is being played by the organist here. Maybe they can hope for Gloria in Game 4.”

Second Intermission

Milbury on Bruins being more physical: “As far as attitude is concerned, I thought Zdeno Chara played it perfectly. He’s not going to be pushed around. This is a 42-year-old guy…that’s the attitude (Bruce) Cassidy needed and he got it from his captain.”

Jones on Binnington being pulled: “I don’t think he’s played a good game in the Final yet. I think it’s good. I think it’s good for him to reset, an opportunity for him to sit back and gather his thoughts…I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

Milbury on protecting Tuukka Rask in the third period: “If anyone goes near him at this point, that’s a five-alarm fire. They can’t let the goaltender get bumped.”

Second Period

Olczyk on Blues’ first goal: “And the Blues got some life. Their fourth line cashes in.”

Olczyk on Bruins taking 5-1 lead: “If you’re Craig Berube, you’ve got to be thinking about getting Jake Allen into this game. I think this is one that (Jordan) Binnington needs to have.”

Emrick: “For the first time in these playoffs, Jordan Binnington will not be in the goal crease. It will be Jake Allen.”

Emrick: “The horn sounds, and there’s enough ill will to go around for everybody.”

First Intermission

Milbury on Bruins’ dominance up 3-0: “This game could be 5-0. They whiffed on a couple of one-timers with golden opportunities. It was those big guys, those important guys who stepped it up. I thought the Bruins gave the Blues a taste of their own medicine with speed on the forecheck that gave the Blues defensemen fits.”

Jones on Bruins: “Just like they did in the series against Columbus, they took some lumps but then they started to dish some out.”

Sharp on the upcoming second period: “Keep your head up if you’re on the ice in a Bruins jersey.”

McHugh interviewed 11-year-old Laila Anderson, the super-Blues fan who is fighting a rare disease and delivered the pre-game cheer. Anderson on Blues D Colton Parayko: “He’s more than just a Blues player, he’s my best friend. He is so sweet and the nicest person I’ve ever met.”

First Period

Emrick on 11-year-old Laila Anderson after she delivered the pre-game cheer: “A walking, smiling inspiration.”

McGuire on Bruins’ first goal: “It takes more than one guy to win faceoffs. Jake DeBrusk did a great job getting that puck back to the point for the Bruins.”

Emrick on rough play: “It is intense because, if you win, you get your name on a trophy, and it is there for good.”

McGuire on Bruins’ third goal: “Sean Kuraly, he kind of took the crowd right out of this one here in the first period.”

Olczyk on the Blues challenge following the Bruins’ third goal: “That’s (Joel) Edmundson’s stick. He brings the puck back into the zone, so that’s why there’s no offside on that particular play…It was a good try by the St. Louis Blues.”

Emrick on Bruins taking 3-0 lead: “Three goals on the last four shots in the second half of the first period.”

NHL Live on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)

Sharp: “The feeling out process is over. These two teams have some bad blood…And both teams have been throwing their weight around.”

McHugh on Boston’s “perfection line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak: “It has so far been the ‘lack of production line.’”

Olczyk on Blues physical play in Game 2: “It may not take a toll in period one or period two, but it may take its toll in Game 5 in overtime, so that’s why you make contact every time you’re on the ice.”

Jones: “And we saw that against San Jose when, eventually, San Jose started to run out of players. There’s a formula, and it’s been successful for the Blues in the past, so I would not expect them to deviate from that game plan, but the Bruins are a tough team to chase out of a series.”

Hamm on the energy in St. Louis: “It’s so exciting. The energy here is unbelievable. I’ve never seen it like this. I’ve been through World Series wins. This is a whole other thing. I’ve never seen this at all.”

Milbury on Game 2: “If I were a Bruins player after that game, I’d be just a tad embarrassed. And that’s motivating if you’re a hockey player.”

***

NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final from Enterprise Center in St. Louis begins Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Pre-game coverage begins with a special two-hour edition of NHL Liveat 6 p.m. ET.

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