St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen Must Find Goal Scoring Touch Again

NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 07: Goalie Pekka Rinne
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 07: Goalie Pekka Rinne /

When you look at the pure stats, Alexander Steen has not been that bad over the last two seasons. The St. Louis Blues still need that little extra something from him though.

The St. Louis Blues have plenty of potential in their lineup, but as has been the case throughout their history, potential does not always produce. The word potential is usually applied to younger players. In this case, it is a veteran who has the potential.

Alexander Steen is someone with the capability of scoring goals, but for whatever reason, he has not been doing so over the last few seasons. Some might chalk it up to his tumultuous relationship with former head coach, Ken Hitchcock. It is no secret by now that Steen was one of the vocal players that wanted Hitch out.

The reasoning behind that discord is still puzzling to myself and people without intimate knowledge of the behind the scenes issues. Hitchcock even called Steen the Blues best player on route to their Western Conference Finals appearance.

Still, the praise did not mend the fences. So, perhaps that soured relationship was the reason Steen’s goals took a dip.

On the other hand, we do need to come to terms with the fact that 2013-14 might have been an anomaly. Steen had 33 goals in that season. Interestingly, his assist numbers took a dip, so his career high in goals did not net a career high in points. He would get that career high in points the following season.

Maybe Steen just is not the goal scorer we want him to be. He has only scored above 20 three times and only above 30 that single year. Maybe we are asking too much of him.

More from Bleedin' Blue

While that is probably true, he has to find a way to do what we ask of him if he is going to be continually used on one of the top lines.

Effort-wise, Steen can hang with any top line player and often marks the other team’s top line defensively. Skill-wise, he is probably better suited for the third line. It is unlikely he will not be in the top six forwards, so he needs to re-step up his game.

Nobody with a rational mind should be asking for 30-plus goals. That time has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

There is no reason we should not expect 20 goals though. The issue is not whether he can, but whether he does.

Even those that say Steen is not a consistent 20 goal scorer have to concede that, especially last season, he just did not have that eye for goal. Even if you are not scoring, you have to look to put pucks on net.

Steen seemed unwilling and unable to get to those areas he has lived in and put shots on goal. He would settle for the wide angles and either miss or peel back and dish it off.

He has to find that killer instinct and and eye toward goal again. He’s not going to be a net front presence in terms of screening guys, but he needs to win battles in those dirty areas like in front of goal again.

Nobody expects the highlight reel goals from Steen. The Blues just need him to score, no matter how it comes about.

People can say that he got 16 in a down season, so what’s wrong with that? Four goals might not sound like a lot, but it can mean four extra wins. It could mean four extra points if you keep the game tied and go to overtime. It is not just simple as four goals, it is when those goals might have come and how it could have impacted the game.

Steen was considered as the second favorite to be the team captain. While the Blues made the right choice, they need him to be a leader in the locker room and on the ice.

No, wearing a letter on your chest does not demand scoring. Scott Stevens was one of the best captains ever and hardly scored a goal for the New Jersey Devils. When the team needs it though, leaders have to be that kind of player.

Related Story: Alexander Steen's 2016-17 Grades

Steen can get better even at his age. His analytic scores, such as Corsi and Fenwick ratings, were the worst of his Blues career last season. In some cases they were the worst of his career overall.

The bottom line is the Blues need him to find the net more. Even if his goal totals don’t skyrocket, if he is seeking to score, it opens up opportunities for other guys. That is just as beneficial as actually lighting the lamp sometimes.