The first month of the 2013-14 season is officially behind us. The Blues have jumped out to a strong start in October despite the fact they played the fewest games (10) of any NHL team. The first month saw plenty of positives, but unfortunately there were quite a few negatives as well.
The best and worst from October:
Alexander Steen. Enough said. He leads the NHL in goals and was named the league's first star of the month.
Vladimir Sobotka's incredible faceoff percentage. If you take 92 draws and win 70.6% of them, you know you're doing something right.
Jaroslav Halak has been consistent and reliable. He has made the big save when his team needs him to and his confidence seems to be at a new high.
Ryan Reaves has a goal and an assist. Where did his wicked wrister come from? Reaves continues to prove he's much more than an enforcer.
Jaden Schwartz continues to look like one of the best forwards in St. Louis. He really picked up his game during the playoffs last season and he has carried that momentum through the start of 2013-14.
Derek Roy has been a nice addition for the Blues. He has three goals and four assists in seven games and has been making intelligent plays and passes almost every time he's out on the ice.
The power-play. The Blues have had one of the best power-plays for the majority of the first month of the year. At the end of October, they led the league with a conversion rate of 28.2%.
There are several other bright spots I could highlight, but this list may get a bit too long. A 7-1-2 record and a mostly healthy roster is the best start the Blues could have hoped for.
Maxim Lapierre. Do I really need to elaborate here?
Chris Stewart has zero goals and just two assists. Considering the Blues just gave him a new contract with an average cap hit of $4.150 million, Stewart's lack of production is pretty worrisome. Stewart is starting to get more involved, but he needs to generate more offense.
Brian Elliott has seen only a few minutes. Halak's strong start means Elliott is riding the pine. Still, maybe it's a bit too harsh to place Elliott in this section considering his awesome Halloween costume.
The STL penalty kill needs some work. They've killed off just 78.6% of their penalties which is a number the team needs to improve on. In addition, the team needs to work on cutting down on their avoidable penalties. While I haven't kept track, the Blues are regularly ending their power-play by taking a foolish penalty or they'll score, make a dumb decision and then give up the lead. Stay out of the box!
What did I miss? What were some of the best and worst stories in the month of October?