Berube's Blues living dangerously, on verge of winning Cup
BOSTON (AP) — Craig Berube's bunch likes to live dangerously.
Berube on the ice punched his way to 3,000-plus penalty minutes over an NHL career that surpassed 1,000 games.
Berube behind the bench coaches a team that embodies him in almost every way. The St. Louis Blues are hard-nosed, no nonsense and finish every check — often taking penalties in the process.
When it works, the Blues are hard to stop and it is working against a like-minded opponent in the Boston Bruins. The Blues are just one win away from lifting the Stanley Cup.
Berube's blue-collar Blues didn't miss a single opportunity to hammer Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, playing with a significant facial injury, or anyone in Boston black and gold.
Sometimes it's called a penalty. Sometimes not.
Zach Sanford got away with an elbow to the head of Boston's Torey Krug, which the Blues paid for on something of a makeup interference penalty on David Perron soon after. Alex Steen was whistled for blatant interference for lighting up David Krejci in the neutral zone when Boston's struggling second-line center never touched the puck.
Then again, Tyler Bozak got nothing for upending Noel Acciari with a borderline trip right before the game-winning goal from Perron. Fans littered the ice with debris, but toeing the line and stepping over it now and then when it comes to NHL rules is something the Blues do all the time.
The St. Louis style takes a toll on an opponent throughout the course of a game and a playoff series, and it's doing that to Boston. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk missed his third consecutive game after suffering a concussion on a boarding violation by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. The Blues lost Sundqvist to a one-game suspension.
Sundqvist is a Berube player if there ever was one. He is not flashy but does all the little things to cycle the puck and make life difficult on opposing players. When he was out for Game 3, the Blues got blown out 7-2, and since his return, they've won two in a row.
He's now closer to the Cup than Berube ever was during his playing days.
Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno