Blues Year-End Report Card: Forwards, Part Two

Dilip Vishwanat

It's the end of the season, and we've all had time to sit back and evaluate the team. Who made the mark? Who needs to be held back? The answers may (not) surprise you.

Here're the Blues' bottom six forwards and some guys who either were consistent call-ups or are no longer with us (moment of silence for Chris Stewart). As always, if you disagree with one of the ratings, share your opinions in the comments (not that I have to tell you to do that or anything). I smell some controversy with some of these.

Donut King:

Derek Roy

  • Regular Season Numbers: 75 GP, 9 G, 28 A, -1
  • Postseason Numbers: 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -2
  • Analysis: Enigma personified. Roy was signed to essentially be a number two center, but always seemed to be in Hitch’s doghouse for one reason or another, mainly because he couldn’t play defensively. He did quite well on the power play, though. He’s an unrestricted free agent, and I don’t anticipate he’ll be back, nor does anyone else, it seems. And that may be beneficial for all involved.
  • GRADE: B-

Patrik Berglund

  • Regular Season Numbers: 78 GP, 14 G, 18 A, +10
  • Postseason Numbers: 4 GP, 0 G, 0 A, -7
  • Analysis: Don’t look at that playoff line. He played with a dislocated shoulder and he may miss the beginning of next season because of it . . . however, his regular season was his regular inconsistent self, at least offensively. Defensively, though, he finally showed that he could use his size for the betterment of the team. We also found that he may be better suited as a wing as opposed to a center. Oh, and his play in Sochi? It was great.
  • GRADE: B

Chris Stewart

  • Regular Season Numbers: 58 GP, 15 G, 11 A, +2
  • Postseason Numbers: N/A
  • Analysis: Roy was enigmatic, Stewart was just Goddamn frustrating. It’s like Avs fans foretold this, y’know. He’d score 6 goals one week, then disappear for a month. It got so bad that he basically became a throw-in for the Ryan Miller trade. He never took to Hitch’s system, and that’s why he’s not here anymore.
  • GRADE: C-

Brenden Morrow

  • Regular Season Numbers: 71 GP, 13 G, 12 A, +1
  • Postseason Numbers: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, Even
  • Analysis: Brought in to add a bit of veteran presence to a younger veteran squad, Morrow did just that, but he was quite average otherwise. A broken foot sidelined him late, and I imagine he won’t be brought back.
  • GRADE: C

Maxim Lapierre

  • Regular Season Numbers: 71 GP, 9 G, 6 A, -3
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 1 G, 1 A, +3
  • Analysis: He was brought in to be the fourth-line center, and in many regards, he was the prototypical fourth-line center. He might also have been the best center the Blues had in the postseason, which . . . well, that’s not good. Also not good was his egregious boarding penalty on Dan Boyle that led to a five-game suspension, but after that, he played quite decently for the role he was asked to do.
  • GRADE: B-

Magnus Pääjärvi

  • Regular Season Numbers: 55 GP, 6 G, 6 A, -6
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Coach’s Decision)
  • Analysis: Seriously, though, look at his stat line . . . . IT’S THE MARK OF SATAN!!!! Anyhoo. The Umlaut Overlord is only 22 and will likely get a better shot at doing more than play on a checking line next season. And he should. Dude is big, can skate quite well for a man his size and has plenty of offensive potential. Hitchcock tends to have boners for players like this.
  • GRADE: B-

Ryan Reaves

  • Regular Season Numbers: 63 GP, 2 G, 6 A, -1
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, -1
  • Analysis: If you’re expecting Reaves to become a great goal-scorer or setup man, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re expecting Reaves to be better than Cam Janssen, well, he’s already that and more. He’ll drop the gloves, but he’ll also contribute defensively and pot a goal or two. And that’s why the team gave him a contract extension, and a well-deserved one at that.
  • GRADE: B

Steve Ott

  • Regular Season Numbers: 23 GP, 0 G, 3 A, -12
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 0 G, 2 A, -3
  • Analysis: When the Blues acquired him, I was told I’d like him. For about a week, I did. But looking at it now, I never liked this guy. He was supposed to be defensively responsible. He, generally, wasn’t. He was supposed to add grit and sandpaper. Well, the Blues had a bunch of guys who brought that already, and therefore he was quite redundant (though that’s not HIS fault). He seems like a really cool dude, actually, but I’m not sure I want him on my hockey team again.
  • GRADE: D-

Dmitrij Jaskin

  • Regular Season Numbers: 18 GP, 1 G, 1 A, -3
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Minors)
  • Analysis: I want to give him an incomplete grade, but I can’t since he played 18 games. He’s got a great future ahead of him, but every time I saw him, he seemed like the kind of guy that was close to being ready for prime time but not quite there. He’s only 20, though, and he has a shitload of potential. He will realize it soon enough.
  • GRADE: B

Adam Cracknell

  • Regular Season Numbers: 18 GP, 1 G, 1 A, -3
  • Postseason Numbers: 5 GP, 1 G, 0 A, Even
  • Analysis: He scored the first goal for the Blues this postseason. He played pretty well in the playoffs, which makes sense considering it’s usually unsung players that play well in the postseason for the Blues, it seems. He’s a UFA, and perhaps he’ll be back, but if not, someone will take a chance on him.
  • GRADE: B-

Chris Porter

  • Regular Season Numbers: 22 GP, 1 G, 1 A, -3
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, +2
  • Analysis: The regular season was weird for Porter. The postseason was pretty damn good, though. He can still contribute something to this team. And he’s under contract for next season.
  • GRADE: B-

Keith Aucoin

  • Regular Season Numbers: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, -3
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Minors)
  • Analysis: How shall we remember the Keith Aucoin Era? We probably won’t. Not his fault, though.
  • GRADE: Incomplete

Ty Rattie

  • Regular Season Numbers: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, -2
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Minors)
  • Analysis: He didn’t play enough to warrant a grade, but I’m on the record already that he has the potential to win the Calder Trophy next year, if used right. Who knows if he’ll get used right, however.

GRADE: Incomplete

CCR:

Derek Roy

C

never met expectations. moved around too much to solidify role

Patrik Berglund

C-

didn't match "prove it" expectations

Chris Stewart

C

always almost- but- never- quite- there

Brenden Morrow

C-

decent moments, but nothing sustained. worst possession player on team

Maxim Lapierre

B+

aside from one notable exception, mostly kept his nose clean. good year, contributed well in a smaller role

Magnus Paajarvi

C+

shows promise & potential. needs more ice time

Ryan Reaves

C+

best year yet, would like to see him shoot more

Steve Ott

C-

good on faceoffs, but still waiting to be impressed

Adam Cracknell

B-

nearly "INC", but held his own when up with the big club. will be familiar face to help Jaskin and Rattie when they make the move to NHL

Dmitrij Jaskin

B+

impressive when called up, should make roster next year and blossom with more ice time / opportunities

RobbTufts:

Berglund

B

Lapierre

C

Morrow

C

Ott

C

Paajarvi

B

Reaves

C

Roy

C

Morrow and Roy were probably the biggest disappointments. Roy had sheltered minutes but his possession numbers were deceptive when you looked at them relative to his teammates. In other words, his teammates were carrying him. Morrow also had low possession stats while seeing sheltered minutes. Both players scored at least 1 goal per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time but with the sheltered minutes they were seeing, they needed to be producing more goals in order to bump up their grade.

CanesAndBluesFan:

Berglund I would give a C-. Somehow his numbers don't seem to reflect my dissatisfaction with his play. He managed to be -7 in the playoffs.

Paajarvi I am tempted to give an Incomplete, but feel like I have to drop a D on him. His PDO got pulled down by terrible goaltending. Still, he needs to be in the lineup and contributing to get a better grade.

Jaskin I am also tempted to give an Incomplete, but if forced to give him a grade, I would give a C-. Nothing overwhelming in his numbers. He's 21. So is Schwartz.

Roy is a D. $4m to break even on possession and generate 37 points doesn't cut it.

Cracknell and Poerter I would lump together. C- for both. Not awful but not doing a whole lot in the positive direction either. Cheap, though.

Morrow I would give a D+. About as useless as Roy but a lot less expensive. Still, I would have rather seen more of Jaskin, Rattie, Paajarvi, etc.

Rattie gets Incomplete. Like Jaskin, he's 21. Star players are in the NHL by 21.

Stewart gets a D-. $4m for 26 points and +2. Although he could have been worse.

Reaves I would give a D+. Obviously you're not putting him on the ice to generate offense. Remind me why we're putting him on the ice.

Lapierre I would give a D. He's getting killed on possession and generating nothing on offense. The only bright spot was he was not as despicable as expected.

Ott is hard to grade. Not because I'm baffled about his contributions, or lack therof. Mostly I'm not sure what the lowest possible grade you can give. In Ott's 23 regular season games, having him on the ice was basically the same as killing a penalty. His Corsi of -11.66 was Buffalo plus St. Louis. 50.0% is St. Louis only. -12 in St. Louis and -36 for the season. F minus with Double Secret Probation.

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