Blues winger Vladimir Sobotka has 5 goals on the still-early season.
New acquisition Brayden Schenn is getting a lot of attention these days, and rightfully so. He’s producing in ways we never dreamed of with Jori Lehtera. He’s dynamic – a legitimate scoring-line forward the team has needed to add for a long time.
He’s a big reason for the team’s sucess in the first quarter of the season. But another of those reasons is the second Vladimir on the team – Sobotka.
I personally was less than thrilled when his contract was announced last year. He wasn’t what the Blues needed, I thought. I categorized him as a third-line player at best, who had a lot of energy and grit, but little skill to go along with those. His career-high, so far, in goals is just 9, which he scored for the Blues in the 13/14 season. The Blues didn’t need more of that, I thought to myself many times. They needed a player like Schenn.
Well, they got Schenn. But they also have Sobotka. And Sobotka has played quite well.
He’s 6th on the team in points through 21 games. He has 5 goals and 7 assists, for 12 total points. That’s just shy of a 20-goal pace. He gels well with the other top-6 forwards, and his production has been clipping along at a great pace, considering he didn’t score his first until October 28th.
We all know there’s been zero offense coming from the third line. Sobotka might eventually be pushed there when Berglund comes back. The top 3 lines could look something like this:
Schwartz Schenn Tarasenko
Bergund Stastny Steen
Sobotka Sundqvist Jaskin
The third line stills look thin, doesn’t it? In a perfect world, Doug Armstrong could make a splash to get another winger to bolster that line. (Maybe feel out Vegas for, say, David Perron?)
So all told, I’m pleasantly surprised by the offense that Sobotka has given the team. I hope he can keep it up.
Thanks for reading.