The 2018-19 St. Louis Blues received the Stanley Cup Championship, the primary within the historical past of the franchise. However, naturally, some gamers made a much bigger contribution than others. On this sequence, we’ll have a look at the Blues’ star gamers, and see who made the grade and who must retake the check.
When the St. Louis Blues acquired Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers on the 2017 NHL Draft, they believed they’d purchased a top-six distinction maker who didn’t have a transparent position on his present group. Within the following season, Schenn proved them proper, smashing a profession excessive with 70 factors in 82 video games, main the group.
In his second season with the group, he was as soon as once more in a brand new position. Ryan O’Reilly arrived within the offseason, making Schenn now not the group’s major middle. By a sequence of stops and begins, he started to settle into his position. However did he stay the influence participant he’d been in 2017-18?
New Function for Schenn
Final season, after they have been sizzling, Schenn shaped one of the vital formidable traces in hockey with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. Schenn and Schwartz, each Saskatchewan natives, shaped a very tight bond, and the 2 fed one another to profession highs in factors per sport. However getting into the 2018-19 season, Schenn was in a brand new position. The lineup wasn’t settled, and he wasn’t in a position to kind that chemistry with anybody rapidly.
Brayden Schenn was down 16 factors in 2018-19 from the season prior (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
To make issues worse, Schwartz struggled proper out of the gate this season, recording solely 9 factors earlier than he was injured late in November. With out his pink sizzling, trusty winger, Schenn struggled to search out his groove. Even so, his output was respectable. By 20 video games, he put up 14 factors. It wasn’t a nasty begin, however nowhere close to mirrored the 30 factors he put up by way of two months the season earlier than.
That turned the story of Schenn’s whole marketing campaign. It was a interval of adjustment and coming all the way down to earth. He wasn’t in as central a task, so his time on ice dropped by over a minute per sport. His stick wasn’t as sizzling, as his capturing proportion dropped nearly three %. Most notably, his energy play time diminished. With O’Reilly now incomes the primary line alternatives, Schenn’s position dissipated, and he dropped from 19 energy play factors the season earlier than to only 12 in 2018-19.
By season’s finish, he had steadied himself considerably, partially as a result of the Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko line was reunited and discovering chemistry. From February on, he was precisely some extent per sport participant, placing up 27 factors in 27 video games. That gave him a grand whole of 54 factors on the season; respectable, however a big drop-off from the 70 he posted the season earlier than. Although he missed 10 video games with damage, he was loads nearer to the participant he was his remaining season in Philadelphia, when he posted 55 factors in 79 video games.
Had that been the tip of the Blues’ season, Schenn’s efficiency would have been disappointing, however not alarmingly so. Sadly, he then disappeared throughout a lot of the playoffs.For the primary 4 video games of the postseason, Schenn was pointless and minus-three in plus-minus. Then he heated up for a interval, amassing 4 factors in three video games, the ultimate two in Spherical 1 and the primary sport in Spherical 2.
Then the drought started. For eight straight video games, Schenn didn’t report a single level, regardless of by no means receiving fewer than 17 minutes of taking part in time. It was a worrying disappearance, and a part of why the Blues struggled to place away the Dallas Stars any sooner. Fortuitously, he returned to kind nearer to the tip of the playoffs, scoring his first level in 9 video games with a essential energy play objective that may ship Recreation three of the Western Convention Closing, the notorious “hand go” sport, into additional time.
From then on, Schenn was way more the participant that Blues followers had come to anticipate. He recorded seven factors within the remaining 10 video games of the postseason, going plus-four in that point. He even notched the third objective in Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup Closing, and was plus-two, serving to the franchise seize its first ever Stanley Cup. He completed the postseason with a complete of 12 factors in 26 video games, a big restoration, however not sufficient for a top-six menace.
If Schenn hadn’t set such a excessive bar for himself together with his unbelievable first season in St. Louis, this evaluate can be extra optimistic. 54 factors in 72 video games is hardly paltry, and the purpose per sport tempo he completed on redeemed his common season considerably.
St. Louis Blues proper wing Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates with middle Brayden Schenn. (AP Photograph/Ross D. Franklin)
Nonetheless, he did largely disappear early within the playoffs. If the Blues had bowed out within the first or second spherical, Schenn would have been a significant motive why, and followers might need been calling for a commerce this summer time with one yr left on his contract. Fortuitously, different gamers stepped up and buoyed the Blues by way of the primary two rounds, earlier than Schenn regained his kind and contributed within the second half.
In that manner, his common season and postseason mirrored one another considerably. Trying again, the output was wonderful. However a more in-depth look reveals a streaky participant who disappeared for vital stretches. An unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season, Schenn will need to be certain that he extra intently resembles the participant from 2017-18 than from 2018-19, though the latter season did end in his attaining the final word hockey dream.
Closing Grade: C