St. Louis Blues: Give Oskar Sundqvist A Break For A Game Or Two

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Oskar Sundqvist
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Oskar Sundqvist /

The St. Louis Blues continue to look for ways to spice up their lineup, the third line in particular. One of the more obvious choices seems to be farthest from their mind.

The St. Louis Blues struggles below their top two lines are well documented right now. The team continues to get very little production from the third and fourth lines.

The fourth line, or whichever line Scottie Upshall and Kyle Brodziak are on, still bring the energy. They are consistent performers in terms of their effort. That other line rarely even has that claim to be made.

With that in mind, the team really should consider sitting Oskar Sundqvist for a game or two. This is not to pick on him specifically, but he has definitely not been part of the solution.

Nobody on that third line has worked very well in terms of actually producing scoring. Sundqvist only has two assists in 17 games, but there are other guys that are just as unproductive.

The idea behind sitting Sundqvist would be more about consistency. The Blues sent guys down to the minor leagues earlier and Mike Yeo basically said they needed to find their game or hit the reset button.

Why is Sundqvist any different? He has not had a hot start to live off. He has not been turning things around lately to keep him safe. Why does he get a pass and the other guys had to be sent down?

One of the obvious answers is contract. Sundqvist would have to clear waivers to be sent down, so the Blues are clearly not confident he would pass through.

That’s not good enough though. You still have the option of sitting him down in the pressbox. It’s not as though that has not been done before.

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Which player it was escapes me, but I specifically remember either Yeo or Doug Armstrong saying it would be good for one of the Blues to sit a game or two. The reasoning was the game slows down a little bit when you can take the entire thing in, not just what is happening to you shift to shift.

That should be the thinking with Sundqvist right now. There is little doubt he has improved his effort and seems on the cusp of maybe scoring a goal.

The progress he has made does not make you think he’s about to break out though. It is slow and methodical.

Additionally, it’s not the kind of momentum that would be affected by taking a game or two off. If anything, learning that he has to earn his playing time by being productive might make him hungrier.

Whether intentional or not, right now the Blues are giving the indication that Sundqvist is going to be on this team no matter what he does. That’s not the signal to send to him right now.

There are guys doing well in the minor leagues that are waivers exempt that deserve a look. Maybe they’ll be better than Sundqvist and maybe not. You won’t know unless you look.

Tage Thompson earned his spot on the team at the start and was then sent down. He’s played well in the AHL – better than Sundqvist in the NHL – so why not give him a second look?

This would not be a panic move either. Who cares how many two game losing streaks the Blues have had (it’s only two right now)? It has to do with keeping things somewhat even across the board.

Nobody is saying life is fair or sports should be fair. Anyone that thinks some players are not treated differently than others is kidding themselves.

That said, Sundqvist has done nothing to earn the trust the team is putting with him. He’s getting consistent time and even been handed a spot on the power play unit.

It does not matter that he is the only additional right handed shot. He has not earned that spot on the power play. At this point, I’d much rather have Brodziak on the power play.

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Likely these words will go unheeded. The Blues seem stuck on him and it seems beyond comprehension that he’d be benched in their thinking.

They need to consider it though. If nothing else, you put him back in after a few games and nothing is different. If you make the argument that watching a game or two would be productive for others, the same should apply to Sundqvist. He needs to have a break and take it all in after a step back.