The St. Louis Blues never seem like they have a bona fide second scorer. We all want that player to be Jaden Schwartz, but there is one thing holding him back and it is not a lack of talent.
The St. Louis Blues are begging someone to step up and be their second scorer. Try as he might, Jaden Schwartz has yet to truly materialize as that player.
We see flashes and the potential is there. However, it is not a lack of talent that is holding him back. It is far more simple.
Jaden Schwartz has actually been a model of consistency. When healthy, he has averaged 58 points per season.
That has been the problem though. He has not found a way to stay healthy.
The fault is not all his though. It’s not as though he’s some lazy player that doesn’t keep in good shape and simply tears muscles.
It’s not like he’s a crazy man either. He’s not flying into the boards with reckless abandon with no regard for his safety.
He’s had some bad luck. He had a freak injury, colliding with the post after a collision in practice that injured his elbow.
He broke his ankle the previous season. That limited him to only 33 games in the 2015-16 regular season.
Schwartz has proven to be a very good player when he can stay in the lineup. When he’s played the majority of a season, he scores. Perhaps it is not always goals, like we would like, but he puts up points.
He’s had seasons of 56, 63 and 55 if he’s played enough. That is counteracted with seasons of 13 and 22 when the number of games was more limited.
Additionally, he has proven to be very streaky. That can be said of many of the Blues forwards, but Schwartz got bit hard by the streak bug in 2016-17.
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In the middle of the 2016-17 season, he scored only two goals over a 37 game span. He turned around and scored five goals and 18 points in his final 20 regular season games.
Schwartz stayed hot in the 2017 playoffs too. He ended up with four goals and nine points in 11 games.
Schwartz was kept off the scoresheet only three times in 11 games in the postseason. Unfortunately, two of those three came against Nashville, when the team could have used him most.
Though we fans want more of him in the scoring categories, you can’t fault his effort. He has proven to be one of the Blues better forecheckers as his career has progressed.
Schwartz led the team in the regular season with 59 takeaways. He also set a career high for hits and fell just short of his high for blocks.
The only number I’m sure he’d want to change was giveaways. He set a career high with 29 of those.
His possession stats remained steady though. He had a Corsi For percentage of 53% and the team started in the offensive zone when he was on the ice almost the same percentage.
As fans, we are greedy though. We want it all and he has yet to clearly provide it.
That should not bring his overall grade down. Simply because a person can does not always mean they should be expected to.
The talent is there. If he could stay on the ice more, Schwartz could be a 30/30 type of player. Scoring close to 20 and 50 is not that bad though.
The Blues are clearly a better team when Schwartz plays as opposed to not. He simply puts everyone else in better spots in the lineup.
Even when not scoring, he never really gave up and still found ways to contribute. He’s had two straight solid playoff runs too.
We have to remember that he is only 24. He is just now entering the prime of his career, where he could stay for a few seasons.
Again, health will be the key.