Justin Faulk sets up the Blues’ blueline for this year and long after.
The Blues are off to a decent start for the 2019-20 season. Yes, they are having some trouble holding on to leads, but that will come as they go. This is now an experienced team and I have all confidence they will figure it out.
Schenn is off to a torrid start, and is well on pace to eclipse last year’s less-than-20-goal campaign. And the Blues need him to do that, and that makes sense why they locked him up for a long time. Tarasenko is under contract, sure, and O’Reilly has a couple more years, but Schwartz may be in decline, and Perron’s contract will be up in two years. The Blues need consistency in their Top 6 forwards.
What’s more concerning is the development of potential top 6 forwards. I have to think this is a make-or-break year for Robby Fabbri. He looked like such a promising scoring forward with his rookie year, but here we are years later, and he barely cracks the lineup. Fabbri, Zach Sanford, and Oskar Sundqvist are being relied on to supply offense from the 3rd and 4th lines. These guys have the benefit of two veteran centers – Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev. And Alex Steen is now firmly ensconced in the bottom 6 – his scoring role days are behind him. But in the early going, Fabbri, Sanford and Sundqvist have a combined 4 points in 18 games played.
The future looks bring on the blueline however. The Blues are so deep on the back end that they have to sit either Robert Bortuzzo or Carl Gunnarsson for each game. They can ice Pietrangelo, Faulk, Bouwmeester, Dunn and Parayko as the other 5 defensemen. Except for Bouwmeester, all are under contract or team control for a good while.
With the visit to the White House behind them, the St. Louis Blues can focus on this year, and winning the Cup again. All eyes on the Blues again for the fall and winter.