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Although this is an exciting year for the St. Louis Blues with the emergence of an up and coming star in Vladimir Tarasenko, the core of the gritty hockey club seems to still produce average offensive numbers. Along side Tarasenko there is Jaden Schwartz, both centered by Finnish native Jori Lehtera. This explosive, young line dubbed the "STL" line has done nothing short of carry the entire Blues team offensively for the first 25 games of the year. With Schwartz and Lehtera both scoring 21 points each so far and Tarasenko 26, where is the help of highly paid Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, David Backes, and Paul Stastny? Those 5 players have only combined for 45 points all together. The pounding the Blues received from Chicago on Wednesday in front of national television was like a replay of last years Stanley Cup Playoff series; No goals scored in blue paint by Chicago and little offensive creativity by the Blues left no good scoring chances available in the 3rd period. Sure the Blues have been successful in the regular season, no one questions that. But the showcase against Chicago left Blues fan with nostalgic feelings of playoff let down. When St. Louis is on the big stage, where are their leaders? Or maybe Ken Hitchcock and his "defense first" mentality is keeping these players from reaching their true scoring potential. Whatever the case may be, St. Louis needs to find a way to get their core guys going offensively to keep up with the LA and Chicago domination of the Western Conference. Because young guns don't win Stanley Cups.
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