The St. Louis Blues would not be complete without a little turmoil. Now one of their top scoring wingers is voicing a little too much in the media.
When the St. Louis Blues reacquired David Perron, there was a mixed reaction. Those that thought he never should have left the very first time he was traded to Edmonton, and those that wanted him to stay when he went to Vegas, rejoiced.
Some of the rest of us had mixed feelings. Most never really doubted his skill set, but it was the work ethic and ability to defend that was the issue.
Also adding to the worry was the stats he put up in Vegas. Perron had a career high for points and assists with the Golden Knights. However, the system they ran required little else from Perron.
He was free to play his offensive game with little other worry. It was not going to be the case in St. Louis, whether the coach was Mike Yeo or Craig Berube.
More from Editorials
- St. Louis Blues Need Kasperi Kapanen To Be On Best Behavior
- Hayes’ Debut And Other Bold Predictions for the St. Louis Blues
- St. Louis Blues Captaincy Is Suddenly A Huge Problem For 2023-24
- St. Louis Blues National Games Cause More Problems Than They’re Worth
- St. Louis Blues Brayden Schenn Has To Be An Impact Player In 2023-24
Despite our worries, Perron proved his worth. He had a career long personal point streak that reached double-digits in length.
Perron bested his top goal mark wearing a Blues sweater with 23 goals in the regular season. He came within five goals of his career high and likely would have surpassed that if he had not been injured.
We also saw a much stronger Perron in the neutral and defensive zones. He was smart with the puck and used his speed to backcheck when mistakes were made. It was as close to a three tool player as you were likely to see from him.
The season was not without hiccups. Perron was a healthy scratch not too deep into Berube’s tenure as head coach.
The fact he was not playing did not sit well with Perron, as it would not with most guys. He overstepped his bounds discussing it in the media, which should not really happen, but Berube shrugged it off.
Berube will have to do some more shrugging now. Perron is flapping his gums again, this time about line combinations.
In his defense, Perron has seen quite a bit of change in the playoffs. He has gone from a line with Jaden Schwartz and Oskar Sundqvist to the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko to a line with Sundqvist and Brayden Schenn.
The problem is not that he is frustrated, but that he is talking about it. It does not help his case that he took an unneeded personal jab.
“Hopefully we don’t turn into ‘Hitch’ daily with a line update where we talk about a new line and it’s going to be the whole solution of our problems,” Perron said after the morning skate Monday as resported by Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch.
It cannot be denied there is some truth to what Perron is saying. Making line changes cannot be the only solution the Blues try in order to change how they are playing. Sometimes you just need to step up and play better.
The converse of that is that you can step up and play better regardless of who is on your line. The Blues are best when they are playing within a certain style and system, not necessarily when each line is playing a different style. So, it should not matter a great deal, other than personal comfort, who is on your wing or at your center.
Perron has done his share in this playoff journey. Through the first nine games of the postseason, he has two goals and five points.
That was mainly against Winnipeg. He has one assist in his last four games and that came in the Game 2 loss to Dallas.
His defensive work has slacked off too. Late in Game 3, he had at least three chances to get the puck out on the near wall and failed to do so every time.
He was so weak on the puck battle that it looked like he was not even trying. Most likely he was exhausted at the end of a shift, but plenty of guys are out of gas and still find that extra effort. It was not a good look.
Perron just needs to suck it up and do his job. Chemistry is a great thing when you can afford it, but if guys are not getting the job done, you have to look at other options. Berube is not going to keep lines the same just so one or two guys will be happy. He is trying to win and that means tough decisions regarding personnel.
If you are in the lineup, Berube thinks you give his team the best chance at a win. He is not playing the personal mind games others might have done in the past.
The fact Perron brings up the nickname of Ken Hitchcock seemed a little below the belt. I know they had their personal differences, but he is gone and this seemed unnecessary.
Even if you agree that Berube should keep things the same longer than he does, this does not need to be said in the media. Perhaps Perron was just answering a question posed to him about the line changes, but there are other ways to answer it.
For a young man, I fully admit to being old school in my thinking. I do not go for all this talk in the media about locker room issues.
The Blues have been so good at keeping all their stuff in house. We all know there was locker room tension early in the year, but we never really found out between whom. For Perron to come out and blatantly say he has an issue with the tinkering is overstepping his bounds.
Get out there and score some goals. Work your butt off to the very end, at least and not hand the puck over to the opponent at the end of games. Oh, by the way, stop taking offensive zone penalties. Do all that and then maybe you can talk about coaching decisions.