ST. LOUIS — After Saturday’s game against the Penguins, there was plenty of hype surrounding St. Louis Blues forwards Nathan Walker and Jacob de la Rose, and defenseman Justin Faulk. And rightfully so.
Walker scored his first goal with the team in only his second game. And that was after he scored a goal that was overturned the night before. Needless to say, he’s proved his potential early on.
Faulk also scored his first goal as a member of the Blues organization. Granted, it took him much longer than Walker, but that’s not the point.
He does the little things defensively that helps the team win games, but he stepped up to score a goal when the team needed it most.
And de la Rose tallied his first assist as a Blue. It was a successful night for three players who weren’t on the roster last year.
A lot of the success comes from the players surrounding them that have provided a strong support system for new faces in the locker room.
But how about the players who scored that were on the roster last year? Jaden Schwartz scored the team’s last goal in the game.
While he did have a scoring drought through the entire last season, it’s expected for Schwartz to score on a regular basis.
MacKenzie MacEachern scored the fourth goal of the game, and Ivan Barbashev scored the third goal of the game.
Two players who are primarily fourth line guys. That’s the beauty of it.
With key players out of the lineup due to injuries, more ice time becomes available. These two have capitalized on that opportunities most.
Both play hard on the forecheck, hard on the puck.
Barbashev has always been known for his gritty demeanor and penalty killing ability, but now, he’s even riding a three-game point streak.
He’s had two goals, and four assists, which puts him well on his way to the 14 goals that he scored last season.
Regardless of who he’s played with in previous weeks, he’s made his presence known.
“I’ve had Barbie for a while now,” said Blues head coach Craig Berube. “In the minors, and Barbie’s a really good player. Whatever we ask of him, ‘Play center here, wing here,’ he does it. He does everything for us.”
The success each player has been rewarded with for their hard work has enhanced their confidence night in and night out.
Whether it’s players from San Antonio getting called up, or players who aren’t new to the roster, the Blues are finding ways to win.