Blues need more -- much more -- from Backes, Stastny and Oshie
Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Steen, Patrik Berglund, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera.
What do those six have in common?
Well, aside from all playing for St. Louis, they’re also the only six Blues to have scored a point in the opening playoff round against Minnesota.
The list of those with zeros in the points column is much, much longer.
And that list is topped by three of the team’s highest-paid and most influential forwards -- captain David Backes, alternate captain T.J. Oshie and Paul Stastny, the $7-million dollar man. That trio has combined for no goals, no assists and a collective minus-2 rating thus far; Backes and Stastny have put just eight total shots on goal and nobody seems to be driving play or dictating tempo like they were during the regular season.
“We don’t draw a single penalty tonight for good reason,” Backes told the Post-Dispatch after falling behind 2-1 in the series on Monday night. “We’re not on our toes, we’re not carrying the play in their zone and making them take penalties.”
St. Louis, who boasted the league’s fourth-best power play during the regular season, has had the man advantage just five times in three games and, as Backes mentioned, not once in Game 3. It’s definitely playing a role in the lack of production -- 10 of Backes’ 26 goals this year came on the PP, as did 15 of Stastny’s 46 points.
But there’s more to it than the power play.
The Blues look stifled on Monday night, unable to generate much of anything in the way of offense. They put just 17 shots on Devan Dubnyk -- eight through the first two periods -- and lost whatever momentum they might’ve gained after a big win (and Tarasenko’s hat trick) in Game 2.
“[The Wild] got to show their skill, speed and ability,” Backes said. “We were playing catch-up all night.”
And now the Blues are playing catch-up in the series as well.