February has been a rough month for the St. Louis Blues, as they’ve lost five players to the injured reserve list. Their record has reflected those injuries, as the club went 5-6-1, including a stretch where they were shut out twice and scored one goal in another.
There were some players who helped them stay afloat and not be worse than their record this month. Here are your three stars of February for the Blues:
Third Star: Mike Hoffman
Hoffman emerged and played a lot more like himself during the month of February – he was playing as he did during the 2019-20 season with the Florida Panthers. The difference is that he did plenty of damage at even-strength.
During February, Hoffman tallied five goals and five assists for 10 points over 11 games. He had just one goal in a shortened amount of games in January, so he took his game to another level in February. His brightest moment of the month was his beautiful and vintage wrist shot in overtime to lift the Blues over the Coyotes.
I think the more that he plays on a line with two of the same players for an extended period of time, he can produce even more. That will be hard to do with the Blues’ injuries this season – there has been a lot of line shuffling throughout this season and it will likely continue. Hoffman is emerging for this club, they need him to as well.
Second Star: David Perron
Perron had a quietly great month in production for the Blues. He didn’t play every game in February with Ryan O’Reilly on his line, but he produced either way.
During this month, Perron tallied two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 11 games while playing an average of 20 minutes on ice. He had a ton of high-level chances throughout this stretch and probably should have had more than two goals.
He had 29 shots and only scored twice, which is good for 6.9 percent. If he can continue to play this way in March, he should be able to get more than two goals. Like Hoffman, Perron scored an overtime winner against the San Jose Sharks.
As of now, he is slated on a line with Brayden Schenn and Nathan Walker – this line is a buzz line that can get the team some sustained offensive zone time. I assume once Vladimir Tarasenko returns, he could slip onto this line if the lines don’t shuffle too much before then.
Many would think that the Blues would like to see O’Reilly and Perron together again, so that could happen again soon as well. Either way, Perron is in great shape to have an elite March.
First Star: Ryan O’Reilly
Captain Ryan O’Reilly had an excellent month with his overall two-way game – he produced points and played his typically elite defense as a forward.
An elite month for one of the best two-way centers in the league, he had five points and five assists for 10 points which added on to a great finish in the month of January as he built upon that. He didn’t lead the team in points in February, but he played the most consistent two-way game over the 11 games.
He was 15th in the league in points for the month of February, he also carried a solid plus-six in the plus-minus category. He played a lot of minutes as well, averaging over 22 minutes per night for the Blues. Top-line minutes with top-line results for the former Conn Smythe winner.
The month of March is important for the Blues as they try to stay in the playoff hunt in a tougher than expected Honda West Division. They should be able to get some players back with Tarasenko returning and possibly others on injured reserve.
The Blues will play the Anaheim Ducks four times, the Los Angeles Kings four times, the Vegas Golden Knights three times, the Sharks three times, and the Minnesota Wild once. This month will determine whether they make the playoffs or not, more than likely.
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 run my own podcast network “ECSW” on all the major podcast platforms.