Can we depend on the veteran?
In his 10th NHL season in St. Louis, Patrik Berglund has played a total of 637 games for the Blues. He has registered 151 goals and 145 assists for a total of 296 points. This season, Patrik has 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points in 36 games played. Many would say that he is under-performing as of late, but is that really the case?
Berglund is a streaky player so Blues fans can take hope in that, but when looking at his overall career, we can’t expect too much from him. I am particularly fond of Head Coach, Mike Yeo moving Patrik to the right wing. I feel he is just plainly more effective there. I, however, do not think Berglund has much business in the Blues’ top six.
His recent opportunity
With Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko holding down the first unit, someone has to slot in on that second line. Right now it’s Berglund. He’s partnered with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz. While he’s looked efficient, this only makes sense because the Blues are lacking a top-six forward. I expect Mike Yeo to move Berglund back to the 3rd line after the deadline if the right acquisition(s) is/are made.
Playing the wing
He’s been noticeable lately. Patrik is better when he’s not playing in the middle. After all, the right wing is his natural position. St. Louis lacks center depth so they often lean on Berglund to do more. He’d be much more effective if they kept him away from center-ice.
If the Blues acquire a center ice-man before the deadline; I definitely don’t expect Berglund to play center on the third line anymore. He’ll be slotted in on the wing where he should be. His statistics would look so much different if he’d been playing the right side his entire career.
Was the extension a smart move?
Last year, Berglund set a career high of 23 goals on the season. General Manager, Doug Armstrong signed him to a 5 year 19.5 million dollar deal. Patrik Berglund has a no-trade clause and fans everywhere are bringing up his name when it comes to the Blues’ struggles.
Everyone wants Berglund to do well, but people are frustrated. It’s been that way for 9 seasons. Don’t get me wrong. Patrik has shown flashes of brilliance, but not often enough to make a case that he’s fit for the top six anymore. He’s simply wearing shoes that are too big for him right now.
#21 can be an effective player. He simply has been given too much responsibility in the past. He’s just overestimated, and he’s put out there a little too often against some of the opponents best line-ups. The fact of the matter is Patrik Berglund is a third liner. Especially by now. He is pushing 30 years old and his best years are behind him.
Those years weren’t that impressive either, and he was receiving opportunities on the 1st and 2nd line for much of his career. He is not very consistent, but he seems to be able to rise to the occasion once in a blue moon. I think Patrik Berglund is one of the main reasons the Blues need help right now.