After struggling to provide offense for a stretch, St. Louis has scored 11 goals in their last 12 games.
This has been quite a turn-around for the Blues who have been considering their options on the market lately. Surely, this explosion of offense will slow that trade talk down. The team really seems to be playing for each other as of late, and it gives me the idea that the active roster may just prefer to stick together. Are they sending that message to the front office?
Who is hot?
After a 7 game goal drought; Vladimir Tarasenko scored 2 VS the Winnipeg Jets on Friday Night. Vladimir has had obvious frustrations with putting the puck in the net recently, but he sure is looking like himself right now. His confidence has to be high after such a performance, and that’s what the Blues needed to happen for #91. Tarasenko has the ability to catch fire and run with it.
Brayden Schenn may have only registered one shot on goal in the 5-2 win VS Winnipeg, but he collected 2 goals the night before VS the Colorado Avalanche. Blues fans just expect Brayden to contribute, and he does just that night in and night out. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before a letter gets sewn onto this dynamic player’s shoulder.
With 5 points in his last 5 games including 3 goals; Jaden Schwartz has been a breath of fresh air since coming back from injury. He’s truly an elite winger that plays a 200-foot game. It’s just great to have him back, and I personally look forward to the rest of his campaign. Jaden is now up to 40 points in just 37 games.
Alexander Steen has 3 assists and 1 goal in his last 4 contests. Alex hasn’t had the ideal season thus far, but as of late, he has been a key player for the Blues. He’s playing 1st line left wing again with Paul Stastny & Vladimir Tarasenko the last two games and it’s really proving to be effective.
Vince Dunn didn’t touch the score sheet Friday in Winnipeg, but he had an extremely strong game Thursday night VS Colorado. Vince showcased a stellar performance as he registered 3 assists that night. With Joel Edmundson‘s unfortunate injury, we will see much more work for #29. Here is an article that I recently wrote for STLHatTrick about Vince Dunn and his potential.
Some other defensemen that have been showing up on the scoreboard are Jay Boumeester & Colton Parayko. Both have 3 assists in their last 3 showings. The two as a tandem looked fantastic last night against the Jets.
Alex Pietrangelo hasn’t been shabby at all either. He has a goal and a helper in his last 2. Pietrangelo holds a +16 rating and averages 25:24 minutes a night. He’s obviously able to be counted on.
Filling Eddie’s Shoes
While Joel Edmundson’s injury is most definitely a blow to the team, it’s also an opportunity for a more than capable Vince Dunn to step-up. Robert Bortuzzo also reaps benefit from Joel’s mishap as he will be on the roster regularly. His physicality is a great addition to the team, and he’s a very responsible player. It shows the depth that the Blues have. #6 will be missed, regardless.
Who Starts Between the Pipes?
That just shouldn’t matter at all right now. Jake Allen seems to have found his confidence. He played absolutely excellent last night against a team that had only lost 3 games in regulation at home. He was calm, cool, and collected.
Jake is finally receiving goal support again. I feel at this point, both goalies can be counted on. I never felt that Jake was the problem considering the way the Blues were playing in front of him.
Carter Hutton is your NHL league-leading goal-tender. This probably isn’t news to you as he’s been on fire. The fact of the matter is that even when the Blues play poorly, he can still steal games.
Hopefully, we’ve already seen St. Louis at their worst, and Carter won’t have to do that as much anymore. Now that the problem in front seems it could possibly be fixed; I expect Jake Allen to play like himself again. The goal-tender was never the problem, to begin with.
It’s no secret that the Blues are scouting other teams for a forward that can score, but does this short stint change anything? If St. Louis can continue to showcase the scoring talent that they’ve displayed in their last 120 minutes of hockey; I think that it makes General Manager, Doug Armstrong’s job a whole lot easier.
While the Blues have trouble scoring; Armstrong is faced with possibly having to send away a prospect like Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, or Klim Kostin to assure that St. Louis is a true contender come post-season. However, If the Blues simply play well like they obviously can, that won’t necessarily need to happen. St. Louis needs to perform up to potential and keep the kids in the system.