Vladimir Tarasenko’s numbers are way down this season.
One step forward. One step back. One step forward, two steps back. Two steps forward……
This season isn’t half over and it feels so, so long already. That is, of course, entirely due to the maddeningly inconsistent play of the team to this point. The Blues haven’t yet won 3 consecutive games, and therefore they can’t get above .500.
A lot of attention and blame has been focused on the defense, and on aging veterans like Alexander Steen and Jay Bouwmeester. There’s been chatter about Steen being a cancer. There’s been talk that maybe Alex Pietrangelo is the problem since he’s not in an in-your-face leader, and the Blues played better while he was on the injury list. There’s been chatter that Jake Allen is the problem (he’s not).
But one of, if not THE, primary issue with the club is the lack of offensive production by the best forwards. On Twitter, @nick_hand pointed this out last night following the Blues’ loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tarasenko has 11 goals and 22 points, a PPG (points-per-game) of 0.61. That is well behind last year’s PPG of 0.825 and the previous season’s 0.91.
Brayden Schenn’s PPG is 0.69 this year. Last season, he finished at 0.85.
Jaden Schwartz has 14 points, good for a 0.61 PPG. Last year, he posted a stellar 0.95 points-per-game in 62 games played.
You see the trend. It’s down across the board. The lack of offense is a big ,big reason why the Blues remain stuck in the lower bowels of the Western Conference. Once the scorers start scoring again, and if the defense plays well overall, and Jake Allen plays as solidly as he has of late, the Blues are likely to surge up the standings.
Let’s hope they do this before Doug Armstrong starts the sell-off.