St. Louis Blues hockey is almost upon us once again, and as we approach the 2019-20 season, the excitement is building in a big way as the fans will be on the lookout for big saves, big plays, and most importantly, big goals.
After winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in the franchise’s long history, it is safe to say that the expectations will be high for the St. Louis Blues to repeat so we can all relive the fond memories that the 2018-19 season gave us.
In order for the Blues to pull the repeat off this year, they will be expected to score early and often. A team can have the best defense and the best goaltenders of all time, but if they cannot score big goals in key situations, then that team will not get very far in their quest for the Cup.
Fortunately for the Blues, their roster is stacked with players that are more than capable of putting the puck in the net. While not everyone from the 2018-19 team will be returning, they are still just as dangerous to any opposing goalies in their path.
The defending Stanley Cup champs will all be looking to make an impact on the scoreboard as the season goes on. There are three players in particular that have the potential to have a breakout year and lead the team in goal scoring.
Vladimir Tarasenko has been one of the best goal scorers on the Blues for many years. He has been one of the Blues most valuable players on both sides of the ice, but he’s most dangerous when given a clear opportunity to shoot.
Many opposing goalies have had good reason to fear Tarasenko. If he gets an open place to shoot, he shoots with immense power and precision.
That power and precision led him to score 33 goals during the regular season and 11 goals during the playoffs. 45 goals may not seem like a lot on paper, but given the right opportunities, he still has the potential to be a key goal scorer.
If Tarasenko can find a consistent groove on the ice, I feel like he has the potential to score 60 to 70 goals. He has great shot power and can be relentless in putting good shots to the net. He can be a team-leading scorer if put in the right situations. All the Blues have to do is help him find them.
When the Blues first acquired Ryan O’ Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres, it was one of the most surprising acquisitions they could have made. It’s hard to believe that anyone would have guessed the impact that he would go on to have during their Cup run.
There were plenty of instances last year where he carried the Blues on his back, and his presence on the ice and goal-scoring helped to give them a significant boost that enabled his team to gain big victories on the way to their Stanley Cup.
O’Reilly scored 28 goals during the regular season and eight goals during the playoffs. Whenever he had a shot find the net, it has kept them in many a tough game. If he is able to really get going, I feel like he can reach 40 to 50 goals a season.
Given Schenn’s overall performance last season, it would not be a stretch to say that the Blues won that trade in a big way. He has been a big contributor to the Blues offense. In fact, he has been such a big help over the past year that he has many Blues fans to this day still grateful he is a Blue.
Schenn contributed 25 goals in total last year. If he can get with the right lines, I see him doubling that total. If he can get in the right line combinations, he can thrive just as much this year if not more.
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There are more players that could reach the top-3 in scoring when the season is all said and done, with the most notable being Jaden Schwartz if he is able to have a bounce-back 2019-20 campaign.