Did the St. Louis Blues achieve the greatest comeback in sports history? | The Tylt

Did the St. Louis Blues achieve the greatest comeback in sports history?

The St. Louis Blues finally clinched a Stanley Cup title in 2019, the franchise's first in its 52-year history. Earlier this year, the Blues were in last place in the NHL, but by June, the team beat the Boston Bruins in a seven-game series. St. Louis obviously erupted with pride, and the rest of the country—outside Boston—celebrated the Blue's Cinderella-like performance, calling it one of the greatest comeback stories in all of sports history. But haters say the saga is nothing to spill their beer over. What do you think?  

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Did the St. Louis Blues achieve the greatest comeback in sports history?
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Did the St. Louis Blues achieve the greatest comeback in sports history?
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Not only have the Blues never won a Stanley Cup title, but the team, by most accounts, shouldn't have won this season. In January of 2019, a mere five months before clinching the championship, the Blues were dead last in the league. As the New York Times' Ben Shpigel puts it: 

Had anyone outside the Blues’ locker room scanned the standings on Jan. 3...and predicted that the team would be hoisting the Cup five months later, that person would have been greeted with uproarious laughter.

According to the Times, the Blues also made history in becoming the first team to go from last place in the NHL after it's 30th game to winning the Stanley Cup in the same year. This team is the epitome of resilience, tenacity, and grit. If the 2019 St. Louis Blues aren't the greatest comeback story in all of sports history, what is?

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When the Blues' promoted former assistant coach Craig Berube to head coach midseason, he removed the standings board from the Blues' locker room to prevent negative thinking, per the Times. Before the team's meteoric rise, MoneyPuck labeled the Blues' odds of winning the Stanley Cup at 0.6 percent.

From there, the Blues went on an 11-game winning streak to the tune of Laura Branigan's 1982 "Gloria." According to the Times' Shpigel, by February 2019:

The Blues, with 69 points, were third in the Central Division, in position for a playoff berth.

By April, the team's chances of winning the Cup had increased to 10.1 percent, making the comeback a season-long effort. As Shpigel puts it: 

Let us consider instead the franchise that waited more than five decades for its coronation...No N.H.L. team has waited longer for its first title than the Blues, who now have incontrovertible evidence that this all really did happen: a 34½-pound silver chalice, soon to be etched with their names, preserved for ever and ever.
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Sure, the Blues have a great story this season, but there are endless inspiration comebacks to choose from when it comes to crowning the best. One such story can be found in the Premiere League's Leicester City. The Premiere League, which as NBC Sport's Joe Posnanski reminds readers, is specifically—"flawlessly"—designed to prevent teams like Leicester City from winning, ensuring that the richest teams rule. According to Posnanski, Leicester City faced 5,000-to-0 odds to win the title for the 2015-16 season. He explains: 

No, those 5,000-to-1 odds were not a miscalculation. They were based on hard mathematics. Leicester City had almost no chance to win the Premier League. This is a team that has never won a major trophy of any kind. This is a team spending one-eighth or one-tenth of what the top teams pay for players. Lets face it: The biggest and richest sports teams in the world, teams with spectacular histories, always win the Premier League. Always. 

Yet, win they did, beating incredible odds in the process. No team, no athlete, no organization can compare to the combination of analytics, strategy, and yes, luck, that it took for Leicester City to earn the  2015-16 Premiere League title. Posnanski puts it into context:

Remember when Luke Skywalker fired that proton torpedo into the thermal exhaust port, blowing up the Death Star? What was it that Han Solo said to him after that? “Great shot kid!” Han Solo shouted. “That was one in a million.”
Right. One in a million.
Eh, actually, Luke had the force. Leicester City still wins.
#ThereAreBetterStories

Over the course of just two seasons, the Boston Celtics also went from being the second-worst in the league to the reigning champs. After finishing dead last in the 2006-07 NBA season, the Celtics secured two stars in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Once Paul Pierce returned from an injury, the Big Three were ready to take on the rest of the NBA, finishing the 2007-08 season with a 42-game improvement from the previous year and ultimately beating the Lakers for the championship title, per Bleacher Report. 

The St. Louis Blues are sure to go down in history, and the team deserves every ounce of celebration. But when it comes to crowning an all-out greatest in comebacks, there are plenty of other tales to compete with. Across all sports, fighting against the odds is nothing if not a motivating force.

FINAL RESULTS
Sports
Did the St. Louis Blues achieve the greatest comeback in sports history?
A festive crown for the winner
#BluesBestComeback
#ThereAreBetterStories