When thinking about the St. Louis Blues’ offense it’s only natural for Vladimir Tarasenko to come to mind. He’s scored 209 points (106G, 103A) in 259 games in his NHL regular season career. He’s added another 22 points (16G, 6A) in his 25 playoff match-ups.
He’s offensively one of the best players in the league and is undoubtedly the best on the Blues. But he isn’t the only guy putting pucks in the net this postseason. St. Louis has been the benefactors of goals from a variety of players and has been able to utilize their depth to eliminate the defending champions and are one win away from making it to the Western Conference Finals.
Alexander Steen has tallied 21 points (9G, 12A) in 43 playoff appearances, including seven points (3G, 4A) in a dozen match-ups this postseason. He scored two of St. Louis’ six goals in their 6-1 blowout win over the Dallas Stars in Game 3 and his contributions have undoubtedly helped the Blues establish a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6.
Steen has been so successful this series in particular because of his speed. The Stars are a fast team, but No. 20’s skating ability has made it possible for him to get around the Stars defense and produce for the Blues.
Dallas also has a lot of young players who are taking their first shot at the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Steen has more than half a regular season’s worth of playoff experience and that has made him a big threat on the ice. With the Stars’ focus rightfully on Tarasenko and his line, Steen has been able to take advantage of less defensively strong match-ups.
Steen’s linemate Paul Stastny has also proven his worth this postseason, scoring six points (2G, 4A) in St. Louis’ first dozen games. The 30-year-old veteran forward, who the Blues signed in free agency during the summer of 2014, is on a two game goal scoring streak heading into Game 6 on Monday.
His acclimation to the Blues has taken a little longer than expected, but he’s steadily returning to the player he was just a few years ago. He scored three more points in ten fewer games during the regular season this year compared to last and his production has spilled over into the first two playoff series.
Stastny’s scoring has been timely this postseason as well. The most of which being his assist on Troy Brouwer’s game-winning goal in Game 7 of the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks. That goal made it possible for the Blues to advance to Round 2.
The third and final player of the St. Louis Blues’ second line is Troy Brouwer. Acquired last offseason in the trade that sent TJ Oshie to the Washington Capitals, Brouwer totaled 39 points (18G, 21A) playing in all 82 games of the regular season.
He has scored seven points (4G, 3A) in the playoffs thus far, including the goal that eliminated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. His postseason play other than that goal has not been getting the attention it deserves, but Brouwer’s physical play and timely offense is something the Blues can look forward to benefiting from down the line.
While the Blues’ second line has been great this postseason, so has Tarasenko. No. 91 has been nearly a point per game player these playoffs with 11 points (6G, 5a) in 12 games and it’s hard not to notice him on the ice.
The Russian-native’s first line being so productive, though, leaves room for the second line to benefit from more open ice. The trio of Steen, Stastny and Brouwer have been able to find ways to score for the Blues when they have needed it most and that production has been endlessly helpful in St. Louis’ run at the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Which player from the second line has impressed you the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Allison Scott is currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Missouri. She is passionate about the NHL and is a fan of both the St. Louis Blues and her hometown Dallas Stars. More articles by Allison can be found on Blackout Dallas where she covers the Stars. Follow Allison on twitter for more hockey and random tweets! @allisonnnscott