Cracking the St. Louis Conundrum

Jeff Angus

2010-11-01


Perron


The St. Louis Blues are a team rich in offensive talent. They lack a high end superstar, but they have seven or eight quality top six forwards. As a poolie looking to draft or trade for a St. Louis forward, the depth is both a good and bad thing. The positive aspect is that the quality of linemates is high for the top three lines. The negative aspect is that there is only so much ice time to go around. If there are two or three equal offensive units, no player on the team is going to see the kind of minutes required to produce at an elite level in the NHL (19+ minutes with ample power play time). For those of you who either own Blues forwards or are looking to acquire one, figuring out how the lines and roles break down is the key.

 

How have the top seven forwards faired to date?

 

C/W – Andy McDonald

 

How has he looked so far?


Below average. McDonald is very quick but hasn't been able to generate many chances through nine games. He is averaging close to 20 minutes per contest (a stat that is slightly skewed because of a 24 minute game he played against Nashville back on October 14th). According to the Frozen Pool Line Combination Tool, he is playing most of his shifts with Brad Boyes and Patrik Berglund. On paper, Boyes and McDonald are a natural fit together. A sniper who shoots right paired with a quick, left-shooting playmaker.

 

McDonald has failed to come close to the 85 and 78-point seasons he put up with the Ducks a few years back, but he still has the talent to be a 65+ point player. He is a perfect buy-low candidate for many league formats. For some reason the Blues have bounced him between wing and center during the past two and a half seasons. McDonald is at his best when he can create transitionally (which centers are supposed to do), and he lacks the size and strength to consistently win battles for the puck down low and along the boards (typically winger responsibilities).

 

Adjusted projection: 22 goals, 36 assists, 58 points

 

C/W – David Backes


How has he looked so far?


Not as bad as the statistics indicate.