Officially, the NHL’s 2019-2020 season is 71 games. Nobody foresaw that it would be shortened due to a worldwide pandemic. But here we are: the playoffs will start soon, and we have the first shortened season since the lockout-shortened one of 2013.Embed from Getty Images
Zach Sanford provided surprising but welcome secondary scoring in the shortened 2019-2020 season.
So let’s have a look at the St. Louis Blues regular season points leaders, through 71 games.
The overall points leader was Ryan O’Reilly, with 61 points. He had a surprisingly low goal total of 12, but racked up 49 assists. He got off to a slow start, as he had just 1 goal through his first 11 games. He probably wouldn’t have gotten to the 20-goal mark, but even so, its his lowest goal total in a season since 2012/2013, in which he only played 29 games.
The goal scoring lead was a tie: David Perron and Brayden Schenn both potted 25. And they were very close in total points, with Perron scoring 60 and Schenn 58.
Zach Sanford had a breakout season with 30 points, and 16 of those were goals. His season is especially encouraging because NHL teams need secondary scoring if they expect to have successful seasons and playoff runs. Sanford’s offensive explosion was hoped for if not expected, and hopefully he can continue his play in the playoffs and next season.
Ideally, NHL teams develop scoring to replace the top producers which inevitably decline or move on via free agency. The Blues hope that Sanford, Sundqvist, Kyrou, and Thomas are those type of players, replacing Perron and Schwartz over time. The better that teams can pull this off, the fewer times they have to overextend themselves in free agency to acquire scoring talent.
Robert Thomas, despite playing fewer games than his rookie season, still beat his rookie totals. He had 10 goals and 32 assists, which came out of 9 points more than last season.
The Blues had 11 players with double-digit goals. That’s their 2nd-best total since the lockout shortened season 8 years ago. Vince Dunn had 9 – he likely would have brought the dub-digits to 10 players.
All told, even playing 11 fewer games than a normal regular season, the Blues had an excellent offensive year. And they did it without Tarasenko’s services for the large majority of games. They did it with Steen on a continued offensive decline. They did it in spite of Faulk’s extremely slow start.
The Blues have a lot to look forward to. There’s no reason that next year, they won’t be an offensive powerhouse. And that’s not just if everything goes right. This team is built to withstand injuries and down years, something we haven’t been able to say about them in a long while.