Blues Weekly: 20-Goal Scorers, Thomas, Saad, Leddy & More

The St. Louis Blues continued a hot streak last week with a record of 4-0-0 on their homestand, winning three of the four in regulation. The Blues outscored their opponents 19-6, including a dominant 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders to cap it off.

Related: Blues’ Top 3 Questions to Answer This Offseason

While the Blues played three non-playoff teams last week, the results were encouraging, as they gave up just one goal to each of them. They’ve now quietly won seven of eight games, with massive wins over the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames over that stretch.

St. Louis Blues Weekly Ryan O'Reilly David Perron
Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron (The Hockey Writers)

The Blues have shown their depth in every facet of the game during this stretch, especially when it comes to scoring goals. There has also been the emergence of a potentially new superstar and a group of veterans rising to the occasion.

Blues Now Have Seven 20-Goal Scorers

The Blues have goal scorers everywhere on the ice this season, as they’ve officially reached seven 20-goal scorers, with room for more to join. Brayden Schenn became the seventh with a goal against the Seattle Kraken, making it the sixth 20-goal season of his career. He also tallied his 300th NHL assist in the victory over the Kraken, which was his second major milestone of this season.

With less than 10 games to go in the season, Robert Thomas has 18 goals, and Ryan O’Reilly has 17, so there’s a chance that they can make it nine 20-goal scorers. With the way that they have both been playing, I’d be surprised if this doesn’t happen.

They may not reach any 30-goal scorers, which speaks volumes about their depth, especially since they rank fourth in the NHL in goals scored. This is going to be the most balanced scoring team in Blues franchise history, and it’s been a long time coming with the amount of forward depth they’ve had for many seasons.

Robert Thomas Is Elite

Thomas has been incredible throughout this entire season, but he’s been on a different level recently. He’s currently riding a nine-game point streak with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in those games. He’s been driving offense every time he is on the ice, and his chemistry with Vladimir Tarasenko has been especially prevalent recently.

His hesitancy to shoot the puck has been a problem in his career up until this season, but he’s finally shooting the puck at a higher rate. He has 10 goals in his last 13 games on 22 shots on goal, which is an absurd shooting percentage of 45.5 percent. It’s been incredible to see Thomas’ breakout season reach higher levels, including this hot streak that has taken him over the top and at 65 points in 62 games. At this rate, the Blues need to move quickly on an extension for Thomas before it gets out of their price range.

Saad Skates in 700th Career NHL Game

In his 68th game of the 2021-22 season, Brandon Saad officially skated in the 700th game of his NHL career, which has been spread across four different teams. It’s been a fantastic ride for Saad, who was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft, taken by the Chicago Blackhawks. He has since won two Stanley Cups and has been a consistent two-way goal-scoring forward on every stop.

Brandon Saad St. Louis Blues
Brandon Saad, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The 2021-22 season marks the sixth of Saad’s career with 20 or more goals, and it’s his third in four seasons. He recently scored the 200th goal of his career and has a total of 414 points for his career. He has lived up to the expectations and more of what the Blues thought he could be for them this season. His two-way game, combined with goal scoring and hockey IQ, has been just what the Blues needed. This looked like a great signing from the start, and it has stayed that way.

Looking at Leddy’s First 11 Games as a Blue

The Blues were criticized by many in the hockey world when they paid what they did to acquire Nick Leddy from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline. He has now played in 11 games for the club, and he’s been more than solid. His role was unexpectedly expanded when Torey Krug went down with an injury in Leddy’s first week as a Blue.

As of now, Leddy has a five-game point streak with a goal and four assists throughout those games. He has been running the point on a power-play unit, something that he has been used to for most of his career. He was thrown into that role with the Krug injury, but he has been up for it. A huge part of this win streak for the Blues has been both Leddy and Justin Faulk playing out of their minds, with contributions on both ends of the ice.

Overall, Leddy has seven points in 11 games and a plus/minus of plus-2. His level of play certainly rose when he moved from a rebuilder to a contender, and I believe that the Krug injury has helped him get settled in quickly. With that said, the Blues need Krug back if they want to have any level of success in the playoffs, and he is expected to be back sooner rather than later.

The Week Ahead

  • Tuesday: at Boston Bruins, 6 PM
  • Thursday: at Buffalo Sabres, 6 PM
  • Saturday: vs. Minnesota Wild, 2 PM
  • Sunday: at Nashville Predators, 5 PM

There are three likely playoff teams on the docket for the Blues this week, with two of the three matchups being on the road. It’s the second rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins; the first one was prior to the COVID-19 suspension of the 2019-20 season, and the Bruins won that game. They’ll take on a rebuilding Sabres team that they beat a couple of months ago, but they are always up for a hard-fought game. Finally, they close the week out on a back-to-back against two division rivals that they have had success against this season with a total record of 4-0-1 against them. Let’s see if the Blues can keep the hot streak alive as the temperature rises with these opponents.

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