Last week, the NHL announced their ”last men in” for this year’s All-Star Game. Blues forward Robert Thomas was in the running for the Central Division’s final roster spot but was beaten by the Colorado Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri.
However, many Blues fans would argue that the spot should have belonged to Thomas as he has helped lead the Blues’ offense for the better part of the season.
If you look at the head-to-head stats between the two players. Kadri clearly has the advantage on Thomas with 55 points. (16 goals and 39 assists) in 38 games played compared to Thomas’ 31 points. (5 goals and 26 assists) in 35 games.
There are other factors to take into account besides the obvious. For example, Kadri is surrounded by superstars such as Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon which could be a factor in his higher assist total.
Also, the Blues roster has been decimated by both injuries and Covid-19 for most of the season including Thomas himself missing time in early December with a lower-body injury.
At the time of the writing of this article, only six members of the Blues roster have been spared from the NHL’s Covid protocols list.
However, despite all of that, Thomas has been a pivotal part of the Blues offense all season. In early November, he was on pace for a 70 point year which would have been nearly double his career-high for points in a single season. Through his first seven games, he was setting a nearly point per game pace with six assists in the Blues first seven games of the season.
At the time of the writing of this article, Thomas leads the Blues with 27 assists and ranks 5th overall on the team in total points with 32.
While Kadri may have the upper hand on Thomas in scoring, Robert is more valuable to his team as he is able to spark offense when it is needed most without being surrounded by a bunch of elite superstar players.