The Scouting Report: St. Louis Blues

Thursday, 14.02.2013 / 3:45 PM / News
By Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)
CALGARY, AB -- The St. Louis Blues caught much of the Western Conference off guard when taking the Central Division title last season.

Coming into this season, the Blues weren’t about to sneak up on anyone with expectations of another division crown but St. Louis has struggled to find that same consistency early in this condensed schedule.

While a 7-5-1 start is respectable, more is expected out of a team that many pegged as a potential conference winner. The good news for the Blues is that there’s still plenty of room let from improvement from a team that has already shown the chemistry to be a major player in the Western Conference.

Alexander Steen
Left Wing - STL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 12
SOG: 51 | +/-: -1
WHO’S HOT

ALEX STEEN

With six points in his last four games – including an overtime winner in the Blues’ 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday – Steen is scoring at a career-best pace. In all, the former first round pick has 12 points in 13 games this season and is currently riding a four-game point-scoring streak.

WHO’S NOT

Vladimir Tarasenko
Right Wing - STL
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 11
SOG: 32 | +/-: -2
VLADIMIR TARASENKO

With just one goal in his last five games, Tarasenko has struggled after recording five goals and 10 points in his first eight games and is minus-8 in that span. Still, the 21-year-old is as dynamic a rookie as there’s been in the league this season. His six goals this season is tops among first-year players while his11 points trail only Tampa Bay Lightning rookie standout Cory Conacher.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

KEVIN SHATTENKIRK

Shattenkirk, acquired in the deal that sent former first overall pick Erik Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche, has been dynamic offensively for the Blues this season. How dynamic? The 24-year-old defenceman currently leads St. Louis in scoring with 13 points in 13 games. His 12 assists tie him for fifth-best in the NHL.

ALEX PIETRANGELO

The fourth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Etnry Draft, Pietrangelo is starting to deliver on the potential he showed as a standout member of the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL. The 23-year-old has elevated his level this season at both ends of the rink and is third in scoring among defencemen in the league behind teammate Shattenkirk and Tobias Enstrom of the Winnipeg Jets.

DAVID BACKES

Though he’s got just two goals in 13 games this season, Backes – a former two-time 30-goal scorer – brings plenty of passion into each game he plays. The St. Louis captain is particularly ornery after the Blues’ mediocre start to the season and will undoubtedly be leading by example to ignite his team.

BY THE NUMBERS

Blues’ Record This Season: 7-5-1
Calgary’s Record All-Time: 72-64-14-4
Calgary’s Record Head-To-Head Last Year: 1-3-0
Blues’ Record Last Season: 49-22-11 (2nd in Western Conference)
Blues Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE
Flames Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE