Manitoba parents log major travel time to follow son's path to Stanley Cup finals
Bob and Lois Edmundson's son Joel takes to the ice tonight in Game 1
It's been an incredible month for the parents of St. Louis Blues defenceman Joel Edmundson, who have travelled from their home in Brandon to watch nearly every game in the team's long-delayed march to the Stanley Cup finals.
Bob and Lois Edmundson, who watched the Blues chase their home province Winnipeg Jets out of the playoffs, are currently in St. Louis and trying to figure out where they will watch Monday's opening game of the final series against the Boston Bruins.
"The city is abuzz," Lois said during a telephone interview with Marcy Markusa, host of CBC Manitoba's morning radio show Information Radio.
"Everywhere you go people are yelling, 'Let's go Blue' ... They're playing [Laura Branigan's] Gloria, the song that the team has adopted as their team song. But it's just a great environment and people are so happy for the team."
If their son Joel, 25, feels any of the pressure, he doesn't appear to show it, Lois says.
"It's hard to say, you know what? He's excited but on the whole he knows, it's like, there's another game,"
But it's not just any other game.
St. Louis has never won the Stanley cup and hasn't made it to the finals since 1970. That year, the Blues were swept from the final for the third straight year, beaten in Game 4 by the Boston Bruins.
That history hangs over the team.
"Those visions get thrown in their faces, but the city is just on fire right now," Bob said.
This is Joel's fourth season in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, but he has been skating and playing hockey since he was a toddler. He picked up a hockey stick when he was two years old, inspired by his older brother, Jesse, Lois says.
"He wanted to keep up with his brother, so he had a hockey stick in his hand early and followed his brother and just kind of did what his older brother did."
Lois and Bob have been on the road with the team since April 23, travelling across the United States as the Blues racked up victory after victory.
"We've been to Dallas, we've been to San Jose, to catch when they had the two games in each of those cities," Bob said. "We've been in St. Louis for the games here, all except for the one game against Winnipeg, when they clinched it in Game 6. So this run has been an experience that we would never have imagined."
Bob confesses he has imagined his son hoisting the Stanley Cup above his head, but he also recognizes how far he still has to go to get there.
"You have to take it one game at a time, and Boston is going to be quite a challenge," he said.
The puck drops in the first game of the Stanley Cup finals at 7 p.m. CT on Monday.
With files from Tyler Crivea