St. Louis Blues Top Lines Stack Up Fine Against Avalanche

October might be far away, but it isn’t too far to work on our projected lines against some of our favorite St. Louis Blues Central Division rivals.

We’re working with a couple of other editors to see what kinds of lines we could match up against, and how our Blues would stack up against them. Will we take them out to a nice dinner, or will we end up eating creamed corn out of a can? Let’s find out.

Nadia Archuleta of Mile High Sticking is our first taker, and here are her projected lines, and how we match up.

The Avalanche

Gabriel Landeskog-Carl Soderberg-Nathan MacKinnon

Jarome Iginla-Matt Duchene-Alex Tanguay

Gabriel Landeskog: Power forward with a nasty streak. He likes to score from the slot. He’s been working on strength and endurance over the summer.

Carl Soderberg: Two way forward. He happens to be legally blind in his left eye, but he works hard to compensate. He’s a workhorse.

Nathan MacKinnon: One of the speediest forwards in the NHL, he’s as agile as a deer. He’s still very young, but he can make veterans look foolish. He’s also been practicing his fisticuffs.

Jarome Iginla: Veteran power forward who’s not afraid to hit and fight. He led the Avs in goals and scoring last season. He can both set up and finish plays.

Matt Duchene: Second only to MacKinnon in speed — and some say he’s faster in the corners – he is a highly skilled forward with a lot of finesse both in skating and in his shot. His signature move is the spin-o-rama — he’s got a lot of takes on it, and they’re often successful.

Alex Tanguay: He has the soft hand of a milk maid — meaning he can thread a pass or a goal. He led the NHL in shooting percentage among regulars last season — around 21%, though he was 25% for most of the season.

The Blues

We at Bleedin’ Blue would match the Blues lines as such:

Alexander Steen – Jori Lehtera – Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz – Paul Stastny – David Backes

Alexander Steen: Steen is a smart player who makes big bodies look foolish. He can switch direction in a blink and is highly creative on the ice. Good two-way player whose physicality comes out when faced with a challenge. He’d shine against MacKinnon’s play, which would require out-of-the-box thinking.

Jori Lehtera: Has unbelievable chemistry with Tarasenko. Lehtera is a strong playmaker with strong vision and his two-way play makes him a tough one to fool. A match between him and Soderberg would be a fascinating one, with a lot of back-and-forth.

Vladimir Tarasenko: One of our best players, Tarasenko (or, “Tank,” as he is sometimes called, after his habit of blowing through lines with ease), has hands like butter and is a big body to match. He lead the NHL in postseason goals long after the Blues were eradicated from the race. His play against Landeskog would get physical, but Volodya isn’t afraid to do so.

Jaden Schwartz: Schwartz isn’t large enough to go up against someone of Iginla’s size, but he’s speedy and skilled with the puck, making him just the person to challenge Tanguay for possession.

Paul Stastny: A great playmaker and good passer, Stastny would anchor this line well against Colorado. A two-way player, he might have a little trouble against Duchene’s speed, but his patience on the ice could also tip the scales his way.

David Backes: Backes is a physical, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of player who leads his line in hits and grit: full of passion and persistence. He’s a shutdown player who’s more than up to the challenge of fighting off Iginla. He has a sixth sense when it comes to scoring goals and is one of the toughest players out there to neutralize.