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Saad and Buchnevich are helping the Blues succeed

Both forwards have been stabilizing the Blues’ offense.

NHL: Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich are two players that need to be seen and recognized.
Saad has been on an offensive slump, but he currently leads the St. Louis Blues in power-play goals with five, for six total points with the extra man. Overall, he has 12 goals and four assists on the season.

While his current numbers aren’t close to what he has recorded in his tenures with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Saad continues to be the veteran forward and left-wing that the Blues need to succeed offensively. He didn’t sign a five-year, $22.5 million contract with his division rival for nothing.

The Blues recently moved into the No. 1 spot in NBCSports’ NHL power rankings, and Saad has helped pack an offensive punch in an otherwise unstable, due to injuries and COVID-19, offensive lineup. He has been playing well on the team’s third line with fellow linemates Oskar Sundqvist and David Perron. He has been pressing on the offensive end, moving the puck, and showcasing his offensive skills. What more could you ask for?

Buchnevich has been an offense-centered forward and right-wing on the ice.

The Blues acquired Buchnevich from the New York Rangers in exchange for fellow forward Sammy Blais and a second-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He was arguably one of the best trades made in any offseason. He signed a four-year, $23.2 million contract extension and went on to help his new team achieve an undefeated, 5-0 run before falling 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche on October 28, 2021. He scored two points (one goal, one assist) during that stretch. He had a +2 rating against Colorado and a +1 rating against the Arizona Coyotes, respectively.

Fast forward to today. Buchnevich has 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) in 33 games and a +16 rating along with 20 penalty minutes. He ranks third in the Blues’ team leaders for points, trailing Vladimir Tarasenko, who has 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 34 games and a +3 rating along with 20 penalty minutes, and Jordan Kyrou, who has 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 32 games and a +8 rating along with four penalty minutes. He has been driving the team’s offense by making strong plays and setting up excellent plays.

Both Buchnevich and Saad add to the Blues’ net-minded presence, which is important as it describes players that try to screen goaltenders by looking to tip shots from far away and collecting rebounds from goalies. This has been a deficiency of the Blues’ in the past two seasons, and its return is key to their continued success.