We’ve broken down the entire forward core, including extra forwards, and we’ve taken a look at the first defensive pairing as well. Links to those are as follows (first line, second line, third line, fourth line, extras forwards, and the first D pairing).
With pre-season in full swing, the Blues are getting good looks at the roster thus far. Evgeny Grachev, my surprise pick to make the roster is living up to my expectation. His three goals and one assist in three games for St. Louis have him leading the club thus far.
My second line pairing have each played a few games and have performed about how I expected them to as well. Providing heads up play, and showing why there isn’t doubt that they’ll make the roster.
Kevin Shattenkirk, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last season will man the right side on the second unit for the Blues this season. The 22 year old offensive defensemen tied Alex Pietrangelo last season for the lead, points-wise for all defensemen for the Blues with 43 points (9 goals, 34 assists).
When the Blues acquired Shattenkirk from Colorado last season, many people praised his offensive game but told us to expect many lapses in his defensive play. To our surprise, very few lapses occurred. He was solid in his own end, while being a catalyst in the offensive zone.
Some believe Shattenkirk could fall victim to the sophomore slump, which is possible, but here is to hoping that doesn’t happen.
Lining up next to Kevin would be the longest tenured Blue to date, Barret Jackman.
There isn’t much to say about Jackman that we don’t already know. He’s a bruising shut down defensemen who plays hard every shift. He’s not going to provide much offense, but he’ll provide leadership, physicality, and a good shut down game. He will provide two to four goals a season and anywhere from 10-15 assists as well. Getting 20 or so points out of a shut down defensemen can only help your team.
Jackman is the kind of player that other teams hate playing against. They are weary about going into the corners with Barret as they know they could end up with a few bruises when coming out.
He’s a hard hitter, and has a mean-streak. He isn’t afraid to stand up for himself or his teammates. Last year for instance, he only dropped his mitts once, but that one fight found him going up against one of the leagues toughest in George Parros.
This pairing should give offense and defense to the Blues as both these players provide both for the Blues.
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