Blues have clas­sic uni­form

The Compass - - SPORTS - FROM PAGE B1 nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Play­off heart­break

The Blues aren’t known for their string of play­off suc­cesses. As a fran­chise, they’ve been to only three con­fer­ence fi­nals in the past 30 years (there were no con­fer­ence fi­nals when the Blues went to three straight Cup fi­nals from 1967-1970).

In the re­cent years, im­pres­sive reg­u­lar sea­sons haven’t trans­lated to play­off suc­cess. In each of the past four sea­sons, the team has reached the sec­ond round just once.

“They were al­ways com­pet­i­tive, but they never got over the hump,” said Kear­ley.

This year St. Louis finds them­selves in the West­ern Con­fer­ence Fi­nal with the San Jose Sharks, an­other team with a long his­tory of play­off fail­ures. By dead­line Fri­day, the Blues were be­hind two games to one in the se­ries and the hope is this is the year the Blues’ ex­or­cise their post­sea­son demons.

“My fear this year is that they’re tired from the pair of seven-game se­ries to start,” said Kear­ley.

He is a fan of blues. Artists like Sonny Boy Wil­liamson, Buddy Guy and oth­ers pop­u­late a playlist on Kear­ley’s cel­lu­lar phone.

It’s a genre that writes about hard work and sac­ri­fice. He sees a lot of those char­ac­ter­is­tics in Blues teams past and present.

In fact, it’s part of the rea­son they’re his favourite team.

“The blues are about sac­ri­fice and in a way, the team iden­ti­fies in some de­gree to that whole name,” said Kear­ley. “I won’t be chang­ing my Blue fan­ship. I’m a Blue for life.”

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