Blues notebook: No trip to Gloria’s Bar in Philly this time | St. Louis Blues

PHILADELPHIA—With a Sunday off here in the City of Brotherly Love, the question seemed obvious. Namely, did Robert Portozzo and some of his Blues teammates make the move to The Jacks NYB?

This is the particular bar and grill in South Philadelphia where “Gloria” was born — at least in terms of adopting the blues as their victory song during the race to the Stanley Cup in 2019.

“We didn’t. You know? It would have been a good idea,” said Bortozo. “Those boys have been really good to us over the years. I couldn’t attend (Sunday) but we spent some time together as a team, and had some fun.”

This was the Blues’ first trip to Philadelphia for a game since then. It looks like a lifetime ago.

“Wonderful. What is this three years ago?” said Bortuzzo. “Yeah, I don’t know. Really not. I think it was one of Binner’s first starts here. Yes, that seems like a long time ago.”

Bortuzzo and four fellow Blues spent the evening of January 6, 2019, at Jacks, where Laura Branigan’s hit song from the early ’80s was played over and over on the jukebox. He made a lasting impression on the Blues, and later their fans, throughout the rest of the season.

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The following night, Binnington made his first NHL start, closing in on the Flyers 3-0. Bennington made his second start in Philly on Tuesday.

Of the “Gloria 5”, the Jacks’ five blues on a January night of 2019, Bortuzzo is the only one still with the team.

“Yes. We’re getting old,” said Portozzo. “I lost some good guys. That was a great crew that night. Still very tight with all these guys. He missed them. But they are all doing great things now.”

The other four are Robbie Fabry, Joel Edmondson, Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Stein.

Another homecoming

There was a lot of Craig Berube returning to Philadelphia, starting his playing and coaching career in the NHL. But Philadelphia is also where Brayden Sheen established himself as an NHL player before the 2017 draft day trade sent him to St. Louis.

They can focus their attention on the president’s return,” Shin said with a smile. “It’s okay by me. But it’s always fun to come back here. Obviously a lot of good memories. I played in some teams, she had a lot of fun. Obviously this is where it all started and I had a good chance when I was here.” It’s always the special comeback.”

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, Shane spent six seasons with the Flyers, scoring three seasons of 20 goals before being traded to St. Louis for Juri Lehera and two first-round picks.

“St. Lewis was kind of the best thing in my career,” Shane said. “I got a good chance. He won the Stanley Cup. I played on a lot of good teams. Competitive teams. I enjoyed every minute I spent in St. Louis.”

Shane made the NHL All-Star Game in 2017-18, his first season with the Blues. He scored his 100th goal as Blue on Saturday in Toronto and since the start of the 2022 calendar year the Blues are leading in points with 17 of 10 goals and seven assists.

Why was St. Louis such a perfect fit?

“Just a chance,” Shane said. “Obviously you have to make the most of it. It’s not a secret. But maybe it’s just the style of play that I play. Maybe it’s going on in the Western Conference. There are a lot of factors that I think go into it.

“But I think being in St. Louis was kind of the mentality that you’re just a piece of the puzzle and everyone buys into the team mentality. That’s basically winning hockey, and that’s why they’ve been able to be so successful for so many years.”

Shane tends to fly a little under the radar with the blues, but this trade with Philly should rate among General Manager Doug Armstrong’s best work. Lehtera has been out of the NHL since 2019 – he plays in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Joel Farabi and Morgan Frost, who were drafted by the pilots in the first round, have 43 goals in the NHL.