From his perch in the St. Louis Blues' dressing space, Ryan O'Reilly gushes with appreciation over last season's fairy tale Stanley Cup run.

Notoriously being in last location on Jan. 2, 2019, with career small leaguer Jordan Binnington between the pipelines, the Blues clinched a playoff berth March 29 and went on to hoist Lord Stanley's chalice for the very first time in franchise history.

"It's an extraordinary thing," states O'Reilly, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable gamer in the Stanley Cup playoffs. "You never really know what's going to happen. Going from the start of that season and being so down and difficult, no bounces appeared to go our method. You might simply see that people kept working for each other and you might see a trigger inside everyone.

"Now you get into the next season and you consider doing it again."

The drive to do it again fuels the St. Louis Blues, even in the thick of the National Hockey League season when video games bleed into one another and the novelty of remaining in luxury hotels is changed by yearning for home.

Going back-to-back has become a rarity provided the modern-day salary cap and totally free company -- the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins are the only group to safeguard their title in the previous 21 years. The Blues believe they can duplicate with a roster that is practically intact and the addition of puck-moving defenceman Justin Faulk in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"We seem like we have the team in here to attempt and do it once again," says centre Brayden Schenn. "I understand it's challenging, however you have only so lots of years in your profession where you have an opportunity to win Stanley Cups."

As safeguarding champs, the Blues (26-8-6) are the unofficial measuring stick for the other 30 groups and, as such, take pleasure in fairly few simple days at the office.

SEE "You never actually understand what's going to occur. Going from the beginning of that season and being so down and challenging, no bounces appeared to go our method. The Blues are riding an eight-game winning streak after back-to-back victories over their Central Division competitors, the Winnipeg Jets. "We're a north hockey team. When we have not been on, they've been keeping us in it and providing us a chance.