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Hi, Bruins fans. Here is why #BruinsforBlues needs to be a thing.

Cheer for the Blues in this conference finals because it feels way, way familiar.

cheering for the Blues feels like a nice warm hug
cheering for the Blues feels like a nice warm hug
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Where were you five years ago today?

Mid-May in Boston is an awesome time. Baseball season has shaken off the dust and cold of April and really started to get going. Tourists begin trickling into the city at about the same rate as the students leaving for the summer. Buskers emerge from the train stations, playing music on the sidewalks of Newbury and Boylston streets. The Public Garden is in full bloom; the swans returned to their island, the swan boats freshly docked. For Bruins fans, the reborn beauty of the city is usually a small step along the road to getting over whatever early playoff loss had just happened within the prior two weeks.

Not so five years ago. The Eastern Conference Finals were approaching. Spring’s newfound foothold in the city served only to fuel our desire to see our team bring a certain large silver trophy home; the return of vibrant color to a city emerging from the greys and browns of winter brushed up alongside the stark black-and-gold of playoff banners all over the West End. Some of those playoff banners poked fun at Tampa, and so, some of our giddiness and furor over our first glimpse of the Conference Finals since 1992 was siphoned into laughing at Tampa’s outrage.

Quietly, through the build of anticipation and then the start of the series, through the screaming and excitement, a quietly supportive hashtag was born from a thousand miles west of Boston. It wasn’t very loud at first, but it was there, trickling through layers of east-coast-based rage.

#BluesforBruins, it proclaimed. Here we are, out here; we’re cheering for you.

Mid-May in St. Louis is when the city begins to slow down for the summer. Summer in St. Louis is an oppressive thing; heat weighs on you like a heavy, sticky blanket. For an escaped New Englander like me, running from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned car became routine while I lived there. But May is still lovely; there’s never much of a winter to recover from. It’s an easy progression from hockey weather to hockey playoff weather, and tailgating abounds throughout. May in St. Louis usually means the appearance of everyone’s Cardinals gear, and the trash-talking against a wayward Red Sox fan amps up to another level; it usually means that Blues fans, done with hockey, can immediately throw themselves into the city’s main sport.

Not so this year. The Western Conference Finals are here. A reporter a few weeks ago commented on the low attendance at a Cardinals game, a weird anomaly; someone pointed out to him that the Blues had a playoff game basically right across the street, and it felt like a paradigm shift. People are turning out for the Blues in droves, and a historically baseball-rabid city is turning its attention elsewhere. Will that shift be temporary? Who knows. It doesn’t matter. Right now, it’s as permanent as it needs to be. The excitement and energy and feeling of "how the heck did we get here lol who cares we’re here let’s do this thing!" is tangible, palpable, and for Bruins fans, it should feel epically familiar.

San Jose, Pittsburgh, and Tampa have all made the conference finals in this decade. St Louis’ last look at shooting for the Stanley Cup Finals came in 2001. It’s been a couple minutes. This is a team that never seemed to be able to get past that second round hump - but blew past it this year, slaying the Stars 6-1 in a game 7, putting an exclamation point on their trip to the third round. They play fun hockey, cemented by a solid blueline and stellar goaltending. They don’t have highly touted superstars like Pittsburgh, they don’t have a comical chip on their shoulder like San Jose, they’re not a Bruins’ division rival like Tampa. They have Vladimir Tarasenko and BU grad Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo and giant rookie defenseman Colton Parayko. They have Captain America David Backes and even a guy whose nickname is Bergy. Fun hockey, from top to bottom.

Five years ago, #BluesforBruins grew, slowly at first throughout the month of May. It took off in June, chasing the Bruins all the way to their Stanley Cup win. It re-emerged in 2013 when the Bruins took on the Blues’ greatest rival in the finals. As I sat in TD Garden and listened to deranged Chicago fans chant "Detroit Sucks" as their team lifted the Cup in my home, Blues fans reached out with condolences and expressions of hatred toward the team that defeated us.

St.Louis, your fanbase rode with us and your brand of hockey is awesome to watch. We’re returning the favor this year. Let’s turn #BluesforBruins around. It’s #BruinsforBlues now.

#StlBlues. #BruinsforBlues. #OurBluesToo.