The Blues have an offense problem……….again.Embed from Getty Images Robert Thomas more than ever needs to be the offensive catalyst he’s expected to bed.
The Blues lost all 3 games of their round robin, which means they finish with the number 4 seed in the West as the playoffs start in earnest.
They could have been the top seed. Instead, the offense failed them. They finish the round robin with 6 goals over 3 games, 4 of which were scored in the sloppy Vegas game.
As I noted in a recent post, 11 Blues players scored double digit goals in the abbreviated regular season. It was kind of a banner year for offense, and without Tarasenko, to boot. But the offense is largely missing after a length hiatus due to COVID-19, as the playoffs get underway.
Lets run down the goal scorers through 3 round robin games:
Parayko, Perron, Thomas, Brouwer
That’s it. And that isn’t going to cut it as the Blues enter a full playoff series against Vancouver. The scorers need to find themselves. The Blues offense thrives when O’Reilly, Schwartz, and Schenn are playing to their offensive capabilities.
Tarasenko is understandable. It may take a while for him to find his footing and scoring touch after missing several months due to injury. But the other veteran scorers need to step up, and soon.
Looking past the playoffs, change looms, as it always does. The Seattle expansion draft is next summer, and the Kraken (great name, great logo) will get their pick of a to-be-determined list of Blues players. As we remember, Perron was picked by the Golden Knights in the last expansion draft. Also looming is the Pietrangelo contract. Will he/won’t he re-sign with the team? No one knows for sure, and if he departs, the offense (and especially the power play) will look very different. If he does re-sign, it might mean that someone else is traded to make salary cap space for that. The likely candidates are Steen or Bozak.
If either are traded, that opens more playing time for young players like Sundqvist, Thomas, Blais, Sanford and Kyrou.
Thomas is the most intriguing of that lot, if you ask me. His playmaking ability is evident. He could make Sanford and Blais into bona fide scoring forwards. The emergence of a dynamic line would help the Blues be less reliant on the O’Reilly and Schenn lines.
The bottom line is the Blues need to roll scoring from all 4 lines, and they need more development from the younger players. That means those guys have to step up and turn these 2-1 losses into 3-2 wins. Because if they don’t, the Blues could be bounced from 2020 in short order.