I remember back in 1990 the Blues had this guy on defense, and i think his name was Scott Stevens. Stevens was captain of the Blues for one year during the 1989-1990 season. Lost in arbitration when ST. Louis signed then RFA Brendan Shanahan from the New Jersey Devils. According to the CBA the Devils had the right to match the offer put on the table by ST. Louis, but declined because they wanted Stevens. The Blues offered goalie Curtis Joseph, forward Rod Brind'Amour, and two draft picks as compensation, but New Jersey declined and the matter went to Arbitration.
What does this have to do with Oshie? The Blues have not had a player on the ice that can deliver such crushing blows since the one year Stevens was on the team. Do not get my words twisted I am not saying Oshie is the next Scott Stevens considering they do not even play the same position.
what I am saying is early in the 2010-2011 season opponents are finding out the hard way that if you run TJ Oshie and think you will plow him down they had better think again! Oshie is in one word a beast. Solid on his feet no matter where he is on the ice. it does not matter if he is forechecking on the half boards, back checking behind his net or grinding out a battle for the puck in the neutral zone. If you run Oshie be prepared for him to meet you with his shoulder to your chest.
Oshie is not just a guy who can keep from getting knocked down either. Keep your head up in the neutral zone because he can and will knock you off the puck and turn the play into your zone. What is really refreshing about the hits Oshie has been putting on his opponents is they are clean. After a game go to the opponents sbnation site and read the posts and reply's about the big hit Oshie put on their player(s). I have still not found one fan screaming dirt on him. That says a lot in Today's NHL.
So to make my point yes the Blues have a few guys on the team that can really take it to the opposition. Backes is a name that comes to mind, but it seems like every game I have the pleasure of watching this year TJ Oshie is right there dishing out the pain.
It is Nice to see a solid checking presence night in and night out on the ice willing to make the other team play for crossing his path or going after his puck. Oshie may not score 86 goals like Brett Hull, but his contributions to the team will certainly make him a long standing fan favorite of all those who bleed blue.
Sources of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Stevens