Probably an adjustment to the pro game from college. He's also one of the younger people in the AHL. Peoria isn't a great team. Give him time, the idea was to let him season in the AHL. I highly doubt he's all of a sudden forgotten how to play hockey
The AHL is quite different from the US college game. Don't forget that he has 2 new linemates to get used to. That doesn't happen over night. Schwartz is a set-up man, whose new linemates need to know him and each other before he can start piling up points. He's not really a sniper.
Having been a winger, I can attest to the fact that one might be playing solid 2-way hockey and yet go through periods of playing very well and yet not be scoring much. Hockey is a team game. Scoring in the offensive zone also depends to some upon how one's team is doing in their defensive end and the transitional game. Hockey is a TEAM sport. One player's stats depend on a whole load of factors. Two months statistics in a new league with new linemates doesn't tell the whole story of a forward's worth (not by a longshot).
The impact this has on any given player can be huge. In Schwartz's case, he has the second most shots on the team. I can't attest to the quality of any given shot, but shot numbers relative to teammates' shot numbers tend to indicate quality of play, ability to get the puck and play in the offensive zone, and quality of minutes - you can't get shots without being played. As far as I know, we cannot get AHL icetime stats, but with great regularity, the players with the most shots on a team are among the most played - and the highest goal-scorers. And he wouldn't get icetime if he were playing poorly.
And what do you know, Schwartz is one goal behind Peoria's leading scorer. They're that bad. Check out the number of shots guys on better teams have. The top scorers in the league have 60+ shots and they are each one of several such guys on their respective teams with that many shots (only two guys on Peoria have over 40, Schwartz is one of them).
Even more important to notice: he has so few assists. Even if you never saw him play for CC, compare that with the play you saw with the Blues. He can score, but he is definitely a playmaker. In fact, on the Blues, I firmly believe he could have easily been a point-per-game player in the seven games he played; but the guys he set up with great passes couldn't finish them. That's magnified in the AHL, which is a league with high speed and physicality and good goaltending, but the overall hockey sense and total-package finishing is dramatically lower by comparison.
Schwartz will look better with better players, on a better team, with minutes and linemates that suit his strengths rather than whatever role he has to shoulder on a wretched team. His stats in the AHL are useless at worst, vanity at best, because what matters is how he looks when he plays with the Blues.
Check out Backes' numbers in the AHL in 06-07: 31gp 10g 3a 13p. He was also a -10. Then he came up that season and scored 10 goals and 13 assists in 49 games with the Blues (and was +6 on a Blues team with a -40 differential). That's just one easy example of a player whose production in the AHL cannot tell you much. Check out Shattenkirk. No points and even +/- in ten games in 10-11 before coming up as one of the best rookies in the league. Young players' production in the AHL is erratic, period.
His point totals are not even that bad really. If you were expecting him to play at a PPG pace, then I guess they are a little low. Realistically though, I was hoping for 40-45 points out of him for the entire season, and that is definitely still in reach. He's an undersized forward playing his first season of pro hockey on an absolutely awful team. He's not going to be setting the world on fire. This is the same kid that finished 2nd in the nation in points per game as a freshman, behind only 1 senior, and 3rd in the nation as a sophomore, behind only 2 seniors. He didn't forget how to play the game. Give him some time, and some decent line mates and he should be good to go. The few games that I have seen him play, he has been the best player for Peoria. One that comes to mind was the loss the team took last week against Grand Rapids. He didn't have any points, but he was far and away Peoria's best skater(McKenna was the best player). The kid can play. Also, plus/minus is such an awful stat, I don't put any faith into it, especially considering the rest of his team has a bad plus/minus. It usually just means that he's on the ice a lot.
I wish AHL games were televised here during the NHL lockout. I'd like to watch some.
I'm not too worried about Schwartz. 8 points in 19 games doesn't sound great, but compared to the rest of the team it's actually not terrible, as sad as that is. But everyone else has pretty much summed it up. I'd be fine with a 40-point season from him. I think he'll be okay.
For those that have seen the Rivermen play, even though I know the entire team is struggling, what players have caught your eye that you think could see some time with the Blues next season? I've heard Peluso and Cundari are playing well. Sounds like Ponich and McRae are big disappointments...
I was wondering what happened to MacEachern....I saw he was inactive on Pointstreak for a long time. Didn't know he was concussed.
That's unfortunate. Had a nice start for the Steel.
No problem. Last I heard he's started skating again. So that's a positive sign. Also, Colton Parayko has returned from his injury. Kurker looks to be picking up his game scoring the winner Thursday night for Boston. And all but three of our skating prospects registered at least one point this week.