NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the St. Louis Blues.
1. Robert Thomas‘ 5-on-5 assists, points per 60
Thomas averaged 1.84 assists and 2.51 points per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time last season. He led the Blues in each category and was sixth in the NHL in assists per 60 and 17th in points per 60 among players with at least 60 games. Thomas’ production was notable considering he averaged 12:19 of 5-on-5 ice time per game, which was 14th among St. Louis skaters. Thomas could increase his production if he receives more ice time at 5-on-5 and on the top power-play unit; he averaged 1:26 per game on the power play, ninth on the Blues.
2. Power-play percentage
The Blues were third in the NHL last season on the power play at 24.3 percent, behind the Edmonton Oilers (29.5 percent) and Boston Bruins (25.2 percent). Their success on the power play was notable because right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who led St. Louis with 12 power-play goals in 2018-19, missed 61 games with a shoulder injury. In his absence, forward Brayden Schenn led the Blues with 10 power-play goals, and forwards Jaden Schwartz and David Perron tied for second with nine. Perron led the Blues with 27 power-play points, an NHL career high, and was tied for eighth in the League. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who signed a seven-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 12, was second on St. Louis with 22 power-play points (six goals, 16 assists). But the Blues should be able to maintain their power-play success this season after agreeing to a seven-year contract with defenseman Torey Krug on Oct. 9. Krug led NHL defensemen with 28 power-play points (two goals, 26 assists) last season.
3. 5-on-5 save percentage
The Blues had a .927 5-on-5 save percentage, which was sixth in the NHL last season. Jordan Binnington‘s .922 even-strength save percentage was tied for 13th in the NHL with Robin Lehner of the Vegas Golden Knights among goalies to play at least 30 games. Jake Allen, Binnington’s backup last season, had a .932 even-strength save percentage that was fourth among goalies to play at least 20 games. Allen was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 2, so the Blues will need a reliable backup to Binnington this season or they could see a decline in their 5-on-5 play.