Careless with the puck
Everyone who thinks about Matthew Tkachuk being in a Blues uniform next season, or at any point in his career, marvels at the skill. Their main thought is likely fixated on his ability to dangle and move, even at his size.
We all would love to have a power forward that can still cut through defenders like a hot knife through butter. One or two highlights of scoring through his legs does not take away the mistakes he still makes.
That is fantastic to watch. But, Blues fans only get to see that stuff. They don’t see what happens over the course of an entire season.
For example, in 2021-22, Tkachuk was a turnover machine. He had a total of 91 statistical giveaways. I say statistical because we’ve seen game sheets where a player was not credited with a giveaway, but we all saw at least a couple turnovers. So, who knows how many times he actually lost the puck.
Tkachuk had 61 giveaways in 56 games in 2020-21. He had 86 the season prior to that.
To a certain extent, you can forgive a little carelessness when the talent is there. That’s getting right to the edge of that fine line.
Putting it into perspective, many fans considered Colton Parayko a turnover machine for the Blues in 2021-22. Parayko did lead the team in giveaways and only had 53.
The leading forward for the Blues in the giveaway category was Robert Thomas with 50. As weak as Jordan Kyrou was on the puck toward the end of the season, he only had 32 regular season giveaways.
In the playoffs alone, Tkachuk had 17 giveaways in 12 games. In the same amount of games, Parayko, who led the team in turnovers again, had 10.
We are talking almost twice as many turnovers as the player that led the Blues. That’s not sustainable.