Coming into Monday night's game in Chicago, David Perron had zero goals. Two games later, he now has four and a swagger on and off the ice that's impossible to miss.
Perron was the spark that kept the Blues skating hard and competing with the reigning champion Blackhawks in a hard-fought, closer than the score 4-2 win Friday night. His goals were electrifying. He followed that up with a sliding blocked shot, good forechecking and hard skating. Coach Davis Payne said he and Perron talked in the afternoon before the game and said it was time Perron regained his mindset he had in the preseason when he was on the score sheet seemingly every game. Payne said Perron dominated all 200 feet of the ice and was the difference maker in the game.
On his first goal, Oshie took the puck away near the Blues bench. Perron was playing close with a defender just in between. As they turned toward the Chicago goal after the turnover, the Hawk hesitated, Perron started to skate and Oshie dished it. Perron took a couple power strides alone down the center of the ice, between the circles with his head up. He drifted a hair to his right and fired it over Turco's left shoulder, hit the iron and the puck went home.
On his second, Carlo Coliacovo had the puck on his left boards and put a long, cross-ice pass to Perron. He and Oshie stayed close together up the right boards. After crossing the red line, Perron dished it over to Oshie who crossed the blue line first. That drew a defender towards the boards and gave Perron a lane. Oshie gave the puck back after the defender committed. He wasn't in the clear yet. Marian Hossa and another Hawk were between Perron and the goal from the center of the right circle. Perron put the puck out away from him and the defenseman took a swipe. That allowed Perron to stickhandle, go to his backhand around the defender and put it in the far side of the net as Turco overcommitted to the post. Meanwhile, Hossa kept skating on the fringe of the play, never attempting to truly get involved in the play.
For the rest of the game, the crowd buzzed every time Perron touched the puck. It was kind of refreshing to see the Blues trying to finish the game off instead of going for a hat trick for Perron late in the game as Patrik Berglund scored a power play goal inside the last two minutes to ice the game. After, Perron talked to Fox Sports Midwest.
"I'm playing with great players. Oshie is a great player. So is Backes. They're finding me right now. I've been fortunate to play a lot of ice time this year. I'll keep working as hard as I can and hopefully it will keep going in," Perron said. "We know we're relied on every night now. It's not like my first couple years. I know I've got to bring it every night. Whenever I don't, I feel so bad next game, I have to come out and get some goals."
Granted, post game interviews with the broadcast partner for the team usually isn't the most revealing moment for a player basking in the glow of a big performance in a big win, but the way Perron is playing this season and what he's saying publicly, I think No. 57 has grown up a little. The teenager with all the potential that we marveled at a few years ago is finding himself as a player. And it's fucking exciting.
Join the party in the comments down below. Oh. And Sidney Crosby is in town. Let's do this whole thing over again tomorrow night.