Jaden Schwartz/Brayden Schenn/Sammy Blais
Fans reading this will likely think me insane to put Sammy Blais on the Blues top line. My main reason will be explained below with one of the other lines.
Basically, with the Blues going more with duos and figuring out the final winger after the fact, this is the most logical spot for Blais. Blais is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades. Personally, I’d prefer him with the main duo on the second line, but I don’t see the Blues breaking up that trio.
If Jordan Kyrou somehow makes the opening night roster that hits the ice, I could also see him in this spot. He would bring a higher scoring upside than Blais, but less of the physical side.
Blais is more a match with Brayden Schenn as far as the physicality he brings. Neither are the biggest guy, but they will hit anything regardless.
The Blues just are not going to split up Schenn and Jaden Schwartz. The duo has had too much success and chemistry to be split up. Personally, I’d like to see them split up to see if Schwartz might find more personal success elsewhere, but that’s a risk.
Zach Sanford/Ryan O’Reilly/David Perron
While he has grown on me, I still do not see what so many others see in Zach Sanford. That is not to say he’s a bad player or not deserving of being on the Blues.
I’d just rather see him placed on a more productive fourth line. I don’t see enough production to be a second line player, but the Blues do.
Some fans might argue this line could be the top line, especially given O’Reilly becoming team captain. Call it what you want. The reality is the top-six will likely get around the same amount of ice time, give or take depending on special teams minutes, etc.
So, saying O’Reilly is on the second line is a matter of semantics as opposed to how the team treats it. This is more your dependable line whereas the top line is more sporadic but capable of more in bursts.