The 2010 decade brought many things, but disappointment was not one of them. In the case of the St. Louis Blues, it brought fortune, it brought fame, it brought the organization its first Stanley Cup. The club finished the decade with a record of 445-251-79, good for the fourth-best record in the NHL during that timespan behind only the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. From the start of the 2010-11 season, through the crowning of the Tampa Bay Lightning as Stanley Cup champions to conclude the 2019-20 season, the Blues were ranked as one of hockey’s juggernauts.
The organization had a multitude of individuals who played key roles in their success in propelling the team to this position. Players like Jake Allen who appeared in 289 games over seven seasons, logging over 16,000 minutes of ice-time, and who became the teams’ leader in games started as a goaltender with 271. David Backes captained and led the organization through its turnaround from a middle-of-the-pack organization, to a contending team with heart and determination. Under his leadership, the team proved each year that the heavy, gritty style of hockey can still be successful and ultimately lead to some of the best moments in recent history.
Related: St. Louis Blues All-Decade Team
The list of top Blues players through the 2010s could have been expanded to 20 or more players with several accolades and reasons why they should be considered among the best. This list takes a closer look and separates out the good from the best. Let’s take a look at who the top five are of the generation.
The journeyman netminder played 181 games over five seasons with the Blues from 2011-2016, finishing with a record of 104-46-16. His 9,958 minutes on ice ranks as the second-highest by any Blues goaltender in the decade. Over his five seasons in the organization, Elliott provided the team with 108 quality starts, a .925 save percentage, 2.01 goals-against average, and a franchise-leading 25 shutouts. Short of winning a Stanley Cup, there was not much more he could have provided the team.
At 36-years-old, Elliott has played with six different teams in the NHL (currently with the Tampa Bay Lightning), none of which have proven more successful than his time with the Blues. He, along with Jaroslav Halak, was awarded the Williams M. Jennings Trophy in 2011-12, which is presented to the goaltender(s) for the team with the fewest goals scored against. The turnaround that the Blues experienced at the beginning of the 2010s is largely thanks to the success of two-time All-Star.
The son of former NHLer, Thomas Steen was drafted 24th overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002 and appeared in 253 games for the club over four seasons before his trade to St. Louis in Nov. 2008. Alexander Steen played 12 seasons in St. Louis before he retired from the NHL. Between 2010 and 2020, he ranked as the second-highest point producer for the Blues with 165 goals and 425 points in 636 games played. Playing in all situations for the organization, He was on the ice for 11,902 minutes, placing 1,557 shots on goal and scoring 31 game-winning goals. Before his retirement, he played 1,018 regular-season games and 91 playoff games. His 496 points currently rank fifth all-time in Blues franchise history.
Steen’s awards and accolades may not rank highly among the NHL, but he won the hearts of many in St. Louis. His determination and skill that he showed each night were something to admire and one you could not take your eyes off of. His exit from the NHL was less than ideal after sustaining a back injury during the 2019-20 season, citing multiple levels of degenerative herniated discs of the lumbar spine. An undeserving ending for a player who has earned nothing but the best.
Before his Stanley Cup-winning campaign with the Blues, Jordan Binnington was seemingly off the radar and was nowhere close to earning time in the NHL. His Dec. 2018 call-up to the Blues was at a time when the club was not only ranked last in the league but had a fight break out during practice. Time would tell that this call-up would set the stage for what would become one of the best championship-winning seasons in sports history. His play and confidence brought a sense of calm and swagger to the team that ultimately helped lead the Blues to a Stanley Cup for the first time in team history. Binnington ranks as the top goalie of the decade.
Through three seasons, the 28-year-old played in 83 games with a 54-18-8 record. He was not only the first and only goaltender to win the Stanley Cup for the Blues but also one of the top goaltenders in the NHL while doing it. The chart below outlines some key statistics from Binnington during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
|Category||Binnington Stats||NHL Rank|
|Goals Against Average||2.30||3rd|
|Goals Saved Above Average||16.9||10th|
|Quality Start Percentage||.600||7th|
Binnington signed a six-year contract extension worth $36 million and continues his career with the Blues today. His 83 wins are currently tied with Halak for seventh all-time in wins for the Blues and only 21 behind the number five spot held by Elliott at 104. With only 68 wins to go, the netminder should have plenty of rope to capture the all-time wins title in his time in St. Louis.
From 2010-2020, no other forward was as dynamic or impactful for the St. Louis Blues as Vladimir Tarasenko. The Russian sniper was drafted 16th overall by St. Louis in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and made his way to the organization for the 2012-13 season, where he scored eight goals and 19 points through 39 regular-season games and playoff games. Since then, he has scored a total of 247 goals and 477 points through 581 games, the most by any Blues forward in that timespan.
In his time with the organization, Tarasenko has been named an All-Star three times (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17), named to the second NHL All-Star Team in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, was ranked among the top five in goals in the NHL for three consecutive seasons, and top 10 in points in the NHL. As of today, his 232 goals rank fifth all-time in Blues history. His 476 points are only 17 points behind Pavol Demitra and 20 points behind Steen for fifth all-time.
The first and only captain to hoist the Stanley Cup for the city of St. Louis ranks as the top Blues player of the 2010s. Through the decade, Alex Pietrangelo suited up for 833 regular season and playoff games, scoring 116 goals and 491 points.
Looking at his rankings throughout Blues history, Pietrangelo ranks fifth in games played (765), third all-time in assists (341), 10th in total points (450), eighth in Offensive point shares (37.7), and first in Defensive Point Shares (48.7). His departure from St. Louis may not have been on the best terms, but he will go down as not only one of the best defensemen in Blues history but one of the best players in team history.
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Mike is a writer for The Hockey Writers and covers the St. Louis Blues since November of 2021. He has a keen love for statistical analysis, prospects, signings, and trades. Follow Mike on Twitter for further Blues or Central division hockey discussions, interview requests, or to provide content info.