The St. Louis Blues will not have their superstar going to the All-Star Game in Tampa this year. However, with two players named to go, they will be well represented.
The St. Louis Blues and their fans got quite a shock when the rosters for the 2018 All-Star Game were released. The absence of Vladimir Tarasenko was very surprising, mostly based on it being a popularity contest and him still being the most popular member of the roster.
The snub is something that was actually taken relatively well by some fans. There were those, like myself, that were a bit upset by it but most justified it by Tarasenko’s poor stretch through much of December.
You could come up with any number of reasons. While some of us justified it by each team needing a representative and there only being so many slots, that goes out the window when you find out Tampa has four guys going. It seems like there should have been a place available for the guy that was second in the voting to the eventual captain.
That is something that we must remember. While we take personal slights by our main guy being left off, this is, in the end, just an exhibition game.
Schenn earned his spot with his incredibly hot start. Entering the team’s bye week, he has 17 goals and 44 points.
He has definitely cooled off since the injury to Jaden Schwartz, but that is understandable. Fans can complain that he should be producing still, and that’s not unreasonable, but the chemistry between the two was undeniable. Splitting that up will cause a difference.
Even taking the cooldown into account, Schenn has been wonderful for the Blues. He’s still on pace to eclipse his 2016-17 numbers (25G, 30A).
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The main disappointment of his arrival, if there is any, is he has not fixed the power play. However, no one man can fix that monstrosity.
Schenn has already set personal bests for ice time and faceoffs won. He’s also going to set a personal best for takeaways too, showing he’s not just an offensive player alone.
Pietrangelo is having an excellent year as well. Plenty of people are judging him on his last few weeks alone and that is fair, but you have to say the entire team has played poorly of late.
Overall, Pietrangelo is still having a good, productive season. He’s currently seventh in defensive scoring with 30 points.
Pietrangelo is also tied for fourth in the NHL in even strength goals for a defenseman.
The team’s slide has affected him. His Corsi and Fenwick scores are currently sitting at some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen of late.
Still, overall, he has been what the team needed from him in the first half. He can and will get better defensively, but the entire team has to improve in the second half. It is not just an Alex Pietrangelo issue.
These might not have been the names we would have expected to slip on that All-Star sweater at the beginning of the season. They are deserving however.
They’re going to show the league some of the best the Blues have to offer. The Blues could do a lot worse than sending these guys.
If nothing else, they earned their spots. There are other guys on other divisonal teams that got named mostly because of who they are.
Schenn, in particular, doesn’t have that kind of clout. Pietrangelo is highly regarded, but is only making his second trip to the All-Star game.
They earned their way in and we should celebrate it. It will be weird not having Tarasenko there, but at least there will be two blue notes on the shoulders when this game takes place.