Who’s Your Favorite Current Blue?
Prior to last night’s 4-1 win at home against Columbus, I asked in a variety of places (Twitter, message boards, and whomever I saw that follows the game) who their favorite player was. I had an idea what type of results I might wind up with, but the final outcome was more surprising than I had imagined. In total, over 20 players ended up receiving votes, including two that are currently not on the NHL roster. The polling has been completed and the votes have been tallied – read on to find out who is the current fan favorite of the St. Louis Blues.
Maybe it’s the stickhandling. Maybe it’s his young age and ability to snipe with his wrister. And maybe it’s highlight reel goals such as the one below. David Perron led the way in our non-official poll, receiving a huge amount of votes from people stating he is their favorite player as well as plenty of other mentions of fans who rank Perron in their top-3. NavyBlues from StlToday.com chose Perron and stated, “He has so much skill. I don’t think that we have even seen a fraction of what he can do”. A true and scary thought. Other fans have mentioned how they love his footwork and ability to change the game each time he possesses the puck. We have been able to watch Perron grow and mature as a player, as well as add elements to his game, such as the bigger physical presence we have seen on the ice this season. The future could be very, very bright. In the meantime, Perron takes down the first unofficial voting of who fans say is their favorite player. If you need any reason why Perron has captivated many a Blues fans, simply watch the video below.
If I had asked a larger sample size of female fans (specifically those still in high school) Oshie would undoubtedly run away with this little contest. Oshie has captured the heart of an overwhelming percentage of female hockey fans (they love the rosy cheeks) as well as the male audience (huge hits, fancy work with the puck, rosy cheeks – stop lying to yourself) and quickly became the overall favorite last year. Oshie’s popularity, specifically with the young female crowd, have led many male fan’s to drop him as their favorite and to adopt a new player, even though Oshie’s game has really not changed much. He hasn’t lit the lamp or produced points at a clip fans had hoped, but the work ethic is still firmly in place. This is another skater who’s ceiling is yet to be reached. As tomcat616 off Twitter said, “The kid is a wildcat out there!” Oshie finishes second in this race as I couldn’t bear to ask the screaming gigglers who their favorite was. Still, it’s hard not to love a guy who can do this to Rick Nash.
David Backes rounds out the top-3, and could be the all-around fan favorite in the not too distant future. The comments for Backes came from every area I asked, but the users on Twitter really summed things up nicely for me. Bradleygt89 said, “Natural leader, tough & scores the hard goals”. Many fans believe (myself included) that Backes has the right mindset and skillset as well as the leadership skills to make him the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. When Andy Murray was fired and the Blues were stuck in the midst of arguably their worst hockey of the season, Backes was the only player or member of the team (including the front office) that was able to give a firm solution on how the side could start playing better. He preaches about giving a complete effort, then backs up his words by going out there and throwing his weight around and working hard in the corners. Backes was also received a wealth of second and third place mentions that unfortunately were not added to his total. Wfaulconer mentioned Backes as a close second stating, “A close second would be David Backes. A – Awesome player. B – Team USA. C – His fight with Toews. AWE-SOME.”
Jackman finds his name fourth on this survery, and was one of the guys I was surprised to see get so much attention. Some have criticized the defenseman on some of the mistakes he has made this season, but that did not take away from Jackman’s overall collective work in his career in St. Louis. Perhaps RaoulDuke from the StlToday.com Blues message board said it the best about Jackman: “Prototypical Western Canadien D-man.smart, mean, hard hitter, mean, good defensively and mean, every team needs a Western Canadian defender with a mean streak. Dudes got a place on my all time Blues team…Paired with Paul Cavallin.” It is obvious that Jackman loves this team and gives it his all each time he is on the ice. He is a physical presence behind the net and team-first attitude make him a fantastic addition to this list. I know I am glad he is on our side just so that we don’t have to face him at any point in the season.
Erik Johnson, Keith Tkachuk and Andy McDonald (Tied-Fifth Fan Fav.)
Three players (Johnson, Tkachuk and McDonald) round up our list by each receving numerous mentions from each medium I proposed the question to. Johnson’s upside and huge potential as well as his offensive capabilities made him a mention everywhere I asked, and he could easily emerge as the poster boy in St. Louis for years to come (fingers crossed).
Tkachuk’s hard work, leadership and presence in front of the net made him one of the most talked about veterans on the roster. His numbers have declined and he is no longer the scoring threat he once was, but Tkachuk still brings a lot to this team on the ice, but especially off the ice. He is respected for his leadership, and will remain a favorite amongst many (my girl friend included) as long as he plays – despite losing a handful of teeth this season.
Finally, StlToday.com user JarmoBlues89 pointed out how McDonald has been “litterally the only consistent forward we have”. Some compare McDonald’s style to that of former Blue Pierre Turgeon.
Other Players Receiving Votes
Cam Janssen – He is one of few fighters that actually gets stronger the longer the fight wears on. He isn’t the biggest enforcer in the league, but he clearly does not let his size limit him. Janssen is one of my favorite players not only for his ridiculous fights and huge hits, but for all of the work he does outside of the rink. Janssen is a freidnly, outgoing man who is always willing to do that little extra to make a fan’s day.
Crombeen recevied a few votes for his hard work as a multi-dimensional player for the Blues. He can land big hits, throw off the gloves, and light the lamp (including another last night). The most amazing thing about Crombeen was his ability to overcome diabetes and still bring a high level of intensity to the game. Crombeen has proven that diabetes will not slow him down, and is an inspiration to those with the disease.
Brewer received a few “pity” votes as they were called for the amount of abuse he has received from fans this season. His plus/minus this season (-14) is an ugly one, to go along with his career mark of (-105). Still, Brewer has not been awful since returning from injury but continues to be blamed by many as why the Blues have struggled and why the team collapses late. Many want to strip the captaincy from the d-man. Brewer gets a mention from me as well, for no matter how much I might not like a guy, I will never boo him without reason as many fans did on opening night when Brewer was not even suited up to play.
Hard work, speed and a wicked shot that can find the back of the net. The more games you watch this year, the more Steen has become a noticeable game changer on the ice.
Polak actually received a decent amount of votes, and his appeal in St. Louis will likely only grow during the Olympic Games when he represents the Czech Republic. The 23-year-old has quickly become one of the Blues most reliable defenseman as he has continued to hold the opponent’s best lines in check. His size and ability to man the blueline has made Polak one of the best youngsters the Blues have on the roster.
He often goes unnoticed, but always seems to be out there when the team needs him to shut a line down. Few have appeared to be so successful on the breakaway as McClement has been in recent memory in a Blues sweater.
His stock has fallen a great distance this season following his break out rookie season, but could rebound in a hurry as he looks to find his scoring touch once more.
Alex Pietrangelo & Lars Eller
These two saw limited action with the Blues so far this season, but fans still are looking to the future in hopes that Petro and Eller will be able to carry this team for many years to come.
Did your favorite player not get enough love or even miss out on this list? Sound off in the comments.