The St. Louis Blues are officially two games deep into the season and are 2-0-0. I’ll have to admit that the day before the season started I would have had a hard time predicting that. 1-1 would have been more probable and 0-2 possible. But here we are.
A big part of the Blues success has been the second line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Dmitrij Jaskin.
According to NHL.com Schwartz and Schenn are tied for the team lead in assists, are tied with the second most goals and have the two best face-off percentages on the team.
They even managed to get Jaskin on the score sheet, which is a miracle in and of it’s self.
It’s not that I think that Jaskin is a bad player but I really question his placement on this line.
You have a couple shifty, skilled play makers in Schenn and Schwartz and then you have Jaskin’s fat ass bringing up the rear. I wouldn’t go as far as to call him a boat anchor but he sure as hell isn’t the motor.
I understand that he is one of the Blues only three right-wingers, and due to the injuries is about the only option right now, but I will always argue that he is a fourth line player who believes he deserves top line minutes.
However, once again Jaskin is getting another chance to prove that he is not a waste of roster space. And once again he will probably find away to fuck it up.
On the other hand, a player that is making the most with his time on the ice is young Schenn.
When he was first acquired from Philadelphia the biggest knock on him was that he could only score on the power play. Which, I mean, duh is the reason the Blues wanted him in the first place.
During the playoffs last season the Blues had the worst power play in the NHL. A lot of which may have been attributed to the loss of Kevin Shattenkirk at last year's trade deadline. One of Shattenkirk’s biggest attributes to the top power play unit was his ability to take charge and make plays happen. Without him it was clear that the Blues were unable to find someone who could step up and push the play forward. Enter Brayden Schenn.
While he has already seen some limited success with a man advantage, it has been his five on five play that has really caught my eye.
Unlike his trade counterpart, his ability to push the play up the ice as well as finish it has, analytically speaking, made him the team’s best center. He has the second best face-off percentage (behind Schwartz), the best Corsi at his position as well as the most assists and goals.
Granted it is a pretty small sample size but you have to like the direction he is headed.
This week the Blues head out on an east coast swing that will take them from a back to back in New York to a Thursday, Saturday showdown in Florida.
To start off, the Blues play at noon on Monday against an Islanders team that is still struggling to find it’s way. And no that was not a misprint. The puck drops at 12:00 pm CT on Monday. Dumb.
The day after the Blues head to Madison Square Garden to take on Kevin Shattenkirk and the New York Rangers. A group that would probably be a top divisional team if they weren’t in the ultra-competative Metropolitan.
Thursday the team heads south to face the Jagr-less Florida Panthers and then close out the road trip in Tampa Bay against a beefed up Lightening team on Saturday.
All said and done it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for the Blues to go 3-1 with the only loss coming Tuesday night against New York. However a 2-2 split would seem a little more likely.
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.