The St. Louis Blues have more talented players and higher paid players. When it comes to determining the team’s success, there is one key guy though since they need him to come back as good or stronger.
There are many St. Louis Blues fans that are going to call me crazy for suggesting this. Perhaps they will be right. It would not be the first time something I have suggested was not completely on par with sanity.
That said, I think Robby Fabbri returning to full health and continuing to improve has one of the highest percentages to do with the Blues’ future success as anything else. Like I said, it is a little bit of an out there idea.
There are tons of other things that people will point to. They won’t all be wrong either.
The Blues need Jake Allen to continue to be a top goaltender. He doesn’t need to steal every series the way he did against Minnesota, but they need him to be a top-10 goaltender for the team to keep having chances to win.
St. Louis also has to have Vladimir Tarasenko keep his star on the rise. We all know how good he is in this city, but he gets overlooked due to playing in the Midwest. He has the talent to be close to the league lead for goal scoring, but the team needs some help up the middle for him to accomplish that.
You have other factors as well. The play of the defense, the powerplay becoming at least respectable and continuing to get production from the secondary players is all key.
That said, Fabbri becoming the player we think he can be might have as much or more to do with the Blues success as any of that. While he might not have the broadest shoulders, he seems more than capable of handling such pressure.
In two seasons (really 1.5) he’s scored 66 points. That’s an average of 33 points per year. Not eye-popping, but pretty good overall for someone we had not heard much about and forced his way into the lineup.
He has only scratched the surface of his potential too. As a rookie, he banked 18 goals. In only 51 games in his sophomore he notched 11. That put him on pace for another 18.
For him to really be a force in this league, he needs to up his totals above 20 and 40. If he is healthy, Fabbri has the skills to do that.
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If he can return to full health, his sophomore season will help immensely. Fabbri was on pace to put up the same amount of goals and was finding the league much harder as well.
Now that he knows he has to up his game, he can take the necessary strides to become a second or third leading scorer for the Blues. They need him to be too.
As much as Jaden Schwartz continues to be a consistent and productive player, we seem to want more from him. A high-scoring Fabbri would ease that burden.
A productive number 15 also provides more possibilities for the team going forward. If the team could trade for a second line winger, then you can move Alex Steen to the third line and really provide more scoring threats up and down the lineup.
As mentioned in a previous article, Fabbri continuing to score could mean a sudden shift in the team’s outlook for next season. If the Blues could add a solid fourth scorer, either on the wing or center, then it’s hard not to get excited at the possible line combinations.
A top line center, pushes Stastny back to the second line where he had good chemistry with Fabbri. Another scoring winger could push Schwartz to Fabbri’s line or put Fabbri with the newcomer.
It provides a lot of flexibility. Even a healthy Alex Steen and Fabbri would be a good combination.
Fabbri is not going to be the team’s highest paid player. He’ll never be considered the team’s most important player.
However, his return to health and continued improvement is imperative for the Blues to keep winning. Without him, the pressure mounts on other guys to do more.
Without Fabbri, the Blues were much easier to shut down in the playoffs. He may not be a savior, but he is definitely a city sized key to winning.