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02-08-2012, 10:23 PM
  #57
Meatwagon
Blues=Overrated
 
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When assessing Stewart's production, we need to look no further than Backes production path.

Backes' career thus far:
GP G A PTS
2006-07 age 22 49 10 13 23
2007-08 age 23 72 13 18 31
2008-09 age 24 82 31 23 54
2009-10 age 25 79 17 31 48
2010-11 age 26 82 31 31 62
2011-12 age 27 52 16 22 38

Stewart's:
GP G A PTS
2008-09 age 21 53 11 8 19
2009-10 age 22 77 28 36 64
2010-11 age 23 36 13 17 30
2010-11 age 23 26 15 8 23
2010-11 Totals 62 28 25 53
2011-12 age 24 49 10 10 20

Backes started to really come into his own at the age of 24-3rd NHL season. Had a down year at the age of 25-4th NHL season and rebounded in a big way at the age of 26-5th NHL season and he has seemed to have put it all together and looks as though his production will stay around his output in 2010-2011.

Stewart had a his breakout year is his second NHL season at the age of 22. He had equal goal production at 23 -3rd season(point total went down because of 9 less assists) and is having a very down year at the age of 24-4th season(same as Backes). I do still believe that Stewart has 30 goal potential and I think that the Blues still feel that way too.

I wasn't on these boards at the time of Backes' down season when he scored 17 g after a season when he scored 31g, but if the present is any indication of the past, I'm sure there were a ton of "Trade Backes While He Still Has Value" threads back then too. What if the Blues had given up on him? What if they didn't let him fight through his early season struggles? Well they showed patience with his development and he has rewarded the management team for their patience. He is now our captain and one of our most consistent forwards. He learned from his struggles and mistakes and has become the player everyone thought he would become. It just took some time for him to fully mature.

Stewart came into the NHL at a younger age than Backes and started to produce at a high level at a younger age 22 vs. 24. Backes didn't sniff 30g until he was 24, Stewart came real close at the age of 22 & 23. He has shown the potential to produce like a 1st line winger over his last 2 seasons. This year he is just having a down year(really down) but he still shows those flashes of being a great player on most nights. He just doesn't do it on a consistent basis night in and night out. Most nights you can pick out 2-3 shifts were, you might say, "there's the Stewart we have been looking for" then he is flat out invisible for rest of the game. If he can figure out how to duplicate those 2-3 shifts, every shift, he will become that 30 g scorer that he can be, and more importantly, who he needs to be for this team to succeed.

Player development is a painfully slow task and it can be extremely frustrating to watch, but that is how teams become contenders year in and year out(Detroit) and not a one and done team(Tampa) who makes one deep playoff run and then goes back into rebuild mode. Fans have waited 6 years now for this team to develop, and right now they are darn close to becoming what they are capable of, they are just not quite there yet. If they were just ONE piece from being serious cup contenders, then I wouldnt mind trading Stewart or Berglund, but they are not ONE piece away from being that team. They still need a top 2 LHD to play 25 minutes a night w/ Petro. They could still use a legit 1st line center who can run a PP. They are still short of capable point producing injury call-ups in Peoria and the best is still on the way(Tank, Schwartz).

Also right now trading 2-3 important players for 1 player would actually hurt the Blues more than it would help them, with all of the current injuries. If you move Berglund and Stewart for lets say Getzlaf, what are the lines going to look like tomorrow? With Steen, Mac and Dags out.

Perron-Getzlaf-Oshie
???-Backes-???
Sobotka-Arnot-Langs
Porter-Nichol-Reaves

Yeah, thats a good first line, but after that its pretty lame.

The Blues this year with their full lineup without trading anyone:

Steen-Backes-Oshie
Perron-Berglund-Mac
Dags-Arnott-Stewart
Sobotka-Nichol-Reaves/Beener

If we keep this team the way it is, and IF we can ever ice our opening day lineup, next year this team should look like this.

Steen-Backes-Oshie
Perron-Berglund-Tarasenko (RW could be shuffled)
Schwartz-Mac-Stewart
Sobotka-Dags-Reaves/Beener/Porter

Call-ups-Porter, Grachev
That lineup looks much more dangerous, really that looks like a Stanley Cup team to me! That lineup has serious depth with big time skill on every line. And WHEN someone goes down, there wont be that gigantic dip in the quality of the player filling in. That's how you win cups, its roster depth, not one really good line.

Ask Anaheim, how are they doing?

I know everyone(including me) is unhappy with Stewart's point totals and his effort on most nights. But he has shown in the past that he can produce at a very high level, and it is in the Blues best interest to let him play through his struggles and mature into the player management believes he will become. Give it time, this team is almost there, and next year we may have that parade down Market street, stay on course Army, I for one can wait!

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