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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our choices for best player on the St. Louis Blues.
Ryan O’Reilly. He’s definitely not as sexy of a choice as Vladimir Tarasenko, nor is he on the same level in terms of raw talent, but his overall body of work is (slightly) better.
ROR is 26 points clear of the next closest scorer on the roster over the last two years. Tarasenko’s injury troubles play a big part, of course, but that’s an impressive gap to create on a Stanley Cup caliber team.
He ranks 2nd among Blues forwards in Corsi For% – just a hair behind Jaden Schwartz – and also has the best 5v5 goal differential at plus-43.
That’s insane considering a) O’Reilly faces top competition on a nightly basis and; b) he leads the Blues in defensive zone starts during that window. A lot of times he’s starting out in -EV situations and still getting positive results.
I think he is the best player on the Blues, although you could at least make a case for three or four others.
The Blues are a weird team because with their core of O'Rielly, Pietrangelo, Paryko, and Tarasenko and Schwartz, they could have been good for years, but then they invested ten million into Maro Scandella and Justin Faulk in what has to be the biggest self-sabotage in NHL history.
This short -sighted idiocy is going to cost them their best player - Alex Pietrangelo, who, thanks to injuries to Ryan Ellis and Dougie Hamilton is the odds-on favorite to win the Norris Trophy before he moves to Toronto whenever this season ends.
Pietrangleo put up solid numbers across the board and would have finished with around 60 points, while posting solid expected goals and corsi numbers.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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