This is the next in a series of stories ranking the 24 most important players on the 2011-12 St. Louis Blues.
When Chris Stewart broke into the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche three seasons ago, the fans there gave him an interesting nickname. Well, more like an addition to his name. When he does something good, which is often, the celebration is Chris God Damn Stewart. It's fitting.
The last two seasons Stewart has scored 28 goals each. The difference between the identical totals is 62 games played last season compared to 77 two years ago. An injury earlier in the season kept him from more than 30 goals and maybe zeroing in on 40 last year. It also may have made him expendable to the rebuilding Avalanche. Because a power forward who has speed and strength to spare and who turns 24 later this month isn't the kind of guy you build a team around. They must really have wanted Erik Johnson.
There was a goal late in the season that illustrated what Stewart can do. He went coast to coast, split the defenders and got it past the goaltender at a severe angle. I'd look for the exact play and situation but this is article 23 of 24. You might get bullet points for the last one.
It's been said that in the new NHL smaller players who have lots of speed can not only survive but flourish. That's true, but it doesn't take away the advantage players who are big and strong and who can skate well. It's the best of both worlds and Stewart has each.
Seriously, how did Colorado trade this guy? He had 64 points in the second season of his career. Did he date the general manager's daughter? Bad mouth the Broncos? Say Coors tastes like cooled piss?
Stewart is the last forward to be ranked for the Blues in this project. It will be a disappointing season if he doesn't lead the team in goals. That's gotta make him important, right?