The St. Louis Blues got some fine performances from some key players this past week. They definitely needed it. As the icing to that cake, the league recognized those players.
As St. Louis Blues fans, it has become easy and even cliche to think the league always has something out for us. We’re a smaller market, so we think the league is against any of our success.
That is an argument for another day. For now, it cannot be argued that the NHL was fair and right to recognize two current players and one former Blues goaltender in their three stars of the week.
Elliott got the third star of the week. Here’s what the NHL.com article had to say.
"Elliott posted a trio of victories – along with a 1.67 goals-against average and .954 save percentage – to help the Flyers (11-11-7, 29 points) bounce back from a 10-game skid (0-5-5) and complete a perfect road trip through Western Canada. He made 43 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Dec. 4, 24 stops in a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 6 and 36 saves in a 4-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 7. The 32-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native – who is in his first season with Philadelphia – owns a 9-6-6 record, 2.79 goals-against average and .912 save percentage through 22 appearances."
While Elliott was not everyone’s favorite *points at myself*, he gave everything he had while he was with the Blues. It cannot be said that he was not successful.
Until this season, he was in fourth on the all-time list of wins in Blues history. He’s been passed up by Allen now, but that doesn’t change the fact he was successful.
Still, his time away from the Blues has shown that without St. Louis in front of him, he has struggled to be as good as he was here. After a roller coaster ride in Calgary, he got off to a mediocre start in Philly. By the stats listed above – especially those this past week – Moose has righted his own ship.
It must be said that the young defensive corps in front of him have not given him much help. So, that might actually make his weekly performance even more impressive.
Flipping the focus to guys actually wearing the Note now, it was a goaltender’s love affair as Allen was named the second star of the week. Allen had some rough times over the last month, but he’s gotten himself back on top of his game now too.
"Allen went 4-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout to guide the Blues to their third four-game winning streak of the season (also Oct. 4-10 and Oct. 25-30). He made 22 saves in a 4-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 5. Allen then turned aside all 29 shots he faced, earning his 16th career shutout in a 3-0 triumph over the Dallas Stars Dec. 7. He added a pair of weekend wins, recording 28 saves in a 6-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 9 and 22 stops in a 3-2 overtime triumph over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 10. The 27-year-old Fredericton, N.B., native shares second place in the NHL with 17 victories in 26 contests this season (17-6-2), compiling a 2.54 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout."
Allen’s stats this past week were stellar. Of course, that shutout clearly helps matters.
The Snake’s overall numbers still leave a little to be desired, but some of that is not all his fault. It seems when Allen has not been his best, the shot totals have not been there to help his stats. Allowing multiple goals on low shot totals is difficult to rebound from. It is similar to a pitcher who has one bad outing that needs several good ones to get their ERA down.
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Interestingly enough, Allen has turned up his own intensity through adversity. You might think you’d see his play get sloppier now that he’s likely to have little rest. However, since Carter Hutton’s injury, he seems to be even more focused and sharp.
Time will tell if that continues, but for now the Blues are reaping the benefits of having a goaltender on his game.
Allen has returned to the calm, cool keeper. His movements are short and precise as opposed to floating around and over-extending himself. It’s nice to see the league’s PR team notice it.
Last, but definitely not least, Schenn got the first star of the week. It’s actually a little surprising that he has not been this high in the list earlier than now. He’s been the best offseason addition the Blues have made in recent memory.
"Schenn led the NHL with 6-1-7, including at least one goal in all four of his appearances, to power the Blues (21-8-2, 44 points) to a perfect week and the top of the Western Conference standings. He notched his third career hat trick, including the decisive goal, in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 5. Schenn then scored the winning goal in a 3-0 triumph against the Dallas Stars Dec. 7 and registered 1-1-2 in a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 9. He closed the week with another tally, marking the second four-game goal streak of his NHL career (also Jan. 8-14, 2017: 4-0-4 in 4 GP w/ PHI), in a 3-2 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 10. The 26-year-old Saskatoon, Sask., native ranks fifth in the NHL with 16-21-37 in 31 outings this season. He also paces the League in game-winning goals (t-6), shootout-deciding goals (t-2) and plus/minus (+25)."
Sometimes hat tricks can be deceiving. There’s a lot that are capped off by empty net goals or come in garbage time of a big lead.
Schenn’s was even more impressive since it was absolutely needed. Without his hatty, the Blues could theoretically have lost 3-1. Instead, they leave Montreal with an important win.
Schenn’s ability to come up big in the big moments has been nothing short of amazing. It was hyperbole, but it feels literal when my wife made the comment that Schenn has scored all the Blues goals this season.
St. Louis has had great years to this point from several guys. It’s insane to think what a different position they’d be in had this trade not been made, though.
For now, there is no need to wonder. He’s here and the Blues are reaping the benefits.
Schenn has silenced the doubters by proving himself five-on-five. He’s been more consistent than any of us could have hoped.
He was extremely deserving of the league’s top star of the week. Schenn has been one of the Blues top stars all season long, after all.