Ryan O'Reilly Wins 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy After Blues Capture 1st Stanley CupJune 13, 2019
Ryan O'Reilly has been the St. Louis Blues' most productive scorer in the Stanley Cup Final, and he also scored the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy.
The 28-year-old was hottest in the Final and scored the opening goal in the Blues' 4-1 Game 7 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night to claim the first championship in the franchise's history. In the series, O'Reilly led St. Louis with five goals.
With Wednesday's goal, O'Reilly became the first player to score in four straight Stanley Cup Final games since Wayne Gretzky in 1985—pretty good company—and also became the third player in NHL history to notch his team's opening score in four consecutive Final contests.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs as a whole, O'Reilly scored eight goals and tallied a team-high 23 points. If that weren't impressive enough, he revealed while meeting with the media after the game that he played through cracked ribs suffered in the first round against the Winnipeg Jets.
The 2018-19 season was O'Reilly's first as a Blue. General manager Doug Armstrong worked hard to acquire the center from the Buffalo Sabres, and the trade was official on July 1. It certainly paid off.
It was also rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington's first, and the 25-year-old, drafted by the Blues in the third round of the 2011 NHL draft, also made a case for the Conn Smythe.
Binnington took over as the Blues' starter on Jan. 7, days after the team was the worst in the entire NHL with just 34 points. St. Louis' ascension correlated with Binnington's, and he became the winningest rookie goaltender in NHL history with 16 victories during this playoff run.
Game 7 was the best of his young career, as he saved 32 shots on goal, including acrobatic stonewalls like this one in the third period when the Blues still held on to a less certain 2-0 lead:
Ultimately, though, it was O'Reilly's consistency that superseded.