The St. Louis Blues showed signs of life in the month of April, as they are in a good spot to finish fourth in the Honda West Division and reach the playoffs for the third straight year. The club went 7-6-0, closing out the month with a four-game winning streak and a 7-3-0 stretch after losing the first three games of the month.
As of this article, the Blues are three points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the Honda West. The good news about all of this is that the Blues have three games in hand over the Coyotes. These three players helped the Blues close out the month on a strong note.
Third Star: Torey Krug
Torey Krug only has one goal this season, and that’s not what was expected, but he’s improved his overall game in my view. I’m not saying he’s this monster two-way defender, but he’s become more reliable as a defender than he was with the Boston Bruins.
In the month of April, Krug had 11 assists in 13 games while dealing with a minor injury in the last few games of the month. He quarterbacked a red-hot power play and had six of those assists on it. His ability to use his hockey sense and skate freely on the power play makes it more dangerous than before.
He’s a threat from the point in most teams’ eyes, even with just the one goal this season. He’s been the one to feed Mike Hoffman on his terrific goal-scoring month. Overall, he hasn’t been a liability in the defensive zone either, a win of a month for Krug.
Second Star: Mike Hoffman
As mentioned above, Hoffman had a terrific month of April after an odd start to it. He was healthy scratched by head coach Craig Berube prior to the trade deadline, the Blues were reportedly checking the market on him to move him.
He responded to the healthy scratch by scoring seven goals in eight games, five of them being on the power play. He finally showed Blues fans what they’ve been waiting to see with his one-timer ability. The craziest stat of the month for Hoffman was that he scored 8 goals on 26 shots, which is good for a shooting percentage (S%) of 30.8.
He did add four assists to his line for the month of April, not a bad number for him. He’s had a really good month and the Blues have him playing on what has been a fun line with Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. You have to hope he is ramping up to get timely goals for the Blues if they reach the Stanley Cup playoffs as it appears they will.
First Star: Ryan O’Reilly
What more can you say? Ryan O’Reilly is by far the most important and best player for this team. There is a reason he won the Selke Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and was named captain of the team after Alex Pietrangelo left, he was incredible in April.
He isn’t known as a goal scorer, but this is now his second of three seasons in St. Louis where has scored over 20 goals. He had 10 of those in April and he took games over when he needed to. His backhand shot is second-to-none in the NHL, he tallied two backhand, bar-down overtime winning goals against the Minnesota Wild during this month.
If the Blues are going to do damage and score a couple of upsets in the playoffs, they will need the O’Reilly of the 2019 Cup run. There is no reason to think he won’t be that good, he was their best player during their first-round loss last year.
This is the final three stars of the month of the regular season, so let’s take a look at which players showed up on the monthly lists and how many total per player: O’Reilly (3), Hoffman (2), David Perron (2), Vladimir Tarasenko (1), Jordan Binnington (1), Justin Faulk (1), Jordan Kyrou (1), Torey Krug (1).
This has been a rollercoaster season for the Blues, and if they reach the playoffs, they need every man in for this team to succeed. We’ll see if they can re-create some magic from 2019 with some new players.
I have been covering sports for nearly a decade. I started with FanSided as a Baseball Contributor. Now I am writing about the NHL and the St. Louis Blues for The Hockey Writers. I grew up in Central Illinois as a huge fan of every sport. Finally, I do various podcasting across all major platforms.