ST. LOUIS -- What did Blues forward David Perron learn from playing in the Stanley Cup Final last season for Vegas? He learned who his friends are.
"You learn who your true friends are because you don't answer their texts for two weeks," Perron said Friday. "And if they still talk to you, you know they're your real friends."
The Blues open the Stanley Cup Final on Monday in Boston and it will be a new experience for almost all of them. Perron is the only player who has played in a game for the Blues this postseason to have played in a Stanley Cup Final game. (Forward Jordan Nolan, who spent most of the season with San Antonio and is with the team now, has played in two finals.) Coach Craig Berube got to the final with Washington in 1997-98 and forward Oskar Sundqvist watched the Penguins win two Stanley Cups from the press box, being on the roster but never getting in a game in the Final.
So this is a not team for which this will be a been-there, done-that experience.
"It never hurts (to have that experience)," Berube said, "but it is what it is. We can't change that. That's nothing I'm really too worried about at all."
Perron played 10 seasons in the NHL without going to the Stanley Cup, and now he's going for the second year in a row.
"I can't believe it," he said. " I'm very fortunate. Obviously I'd like to change the result from last year."
The Golden Knights lost in five games to the Washington Capitals in the final last season, ending a storybook season for the expansion team. Perron sat out Game 4.
"It was a different run for me last year because I came back from injuries," he recalled. "It was tough because obviously you guys know what I've been going through in my career (with concussions). Not that it was that, but it was kind of related. I'd wake up the next day and I kind of wasn't feeling good every single game. It's tough. It's tough to get energized for another game when you're not feeling good. I think this year I'm feeling good and it's a lot more fun to come to the rink. Not that it wasn't. It was a blast. It was the best year of my life at the time, but it certainly was a different feeling. It was tough to have an impact on games as much as I had at times in the regular season last year. I'm just glad it's different this year."
Perron doesn't think he needs to pass much wisdom along.