Brayden Schenn’s having a bit of a moment right now, but if you’re not a fan of the St. Louis Blues, you may be missing out.
Last night in the Blues’ 4-1 defeat of the Anaheim Ducks, Schenn scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season; goal number six was a power play tally for the slowly improving special team. You have to go back to January 15th to find a game that doesn’t have Schenn listed on the scoresheet, either for a goal or an assist. That’s seven games with a point, and two of those are two goal games.
Schenn’s six goals currently puts him in a five-way tie for first in the league, only two goals off of Connor McDavid’s eight. The Blues have played nine games this season, two fewer than Edmonton’s 11; Schenn could easily have an extra goal or two if the Blues didn’t have to sit out last Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Schenn’s ten points leaves him tied with Jordan Kyrou, who’s having his own moment in the spotlight.
Kyrou’s success is getting a lot of attention around St. Louis, and that’s because it’s a good story. There were many questions regarding his place on the team, especially with Sammy Blais assumed to be taking the roster spot that would be available for Kyrou. As camp progressed, it became clearer and clearer that Kyrou’d have a place in the lineup, and with ten points through nine games versus Blais’ one goal, it’s pretty clear who’s taking a seat when Bozak returns.
Kyrou has won his lineup spot fair and square, finally coming into his own and living up to potential. That makes a great story. Schenn, though, isn’t even a question. He’s been with the Blues since being acquired at the 2017 NHL draft in a trade, and was re-signed to an eight-year deal with a value of $52 million to start last season. He’s not going anywhere. He quietly and consistently contributes offense to the Blues, netting nearly 60 points in the last two seasons, one shortened by pandemic, one by injury. His 25 goals last year tied with David Perron to lead the team.
Blues fans expect this from Brayden Schenn, almost a bit to the point of taking his success for granted. Since he was acquired from Philadelphia, he’s done nothing but consistently produce. That A on his chest is well deserved. Perhaps the fact that it’s become de rigueur for Schenn to just automatically perform at this level is what’s causing some of the tempered reaction to his start.
As far as the rest of the league is concerned, I suppose there’s a bit of “that’s what Schenn does” going on as well. The Blues don’t have any superstars, even though fans might think that they do. The core group of consistently good that they do have seems to get muddied into a conglomeration of success in the eyes of a national press that looks for the story.
Schenn’s not the story right now, and neither are the Blues, and that’s how it usually is. It’d be nice if someone took a gander at the scoresheets from the last seven Blues games, though. Someone might be able to find a story there.