Grading the 2011-12 Blues
The third installment of the “Grading the 2011-12 Blues” series features Matt D’Agostini. The St. Louis forward had a pretty quiet year with an injury playing a fairly major role in his 2011-12 production. Is his injury enough to offset a poor grade? Find out below.
Previous Grading the Blues Articles
Prior to 2011-12
D’Agostini was one of the best stories for the Blues in the 2010-11 season. Thanks to injuries in the lineup, D’Agostini got plenty of top line minutes in 2010-11 which allowed him to display some of his offensive prowess. He notched 21 goals and 25 assists, both of which were new personal bests. He was easily the best value for the Blues which earned him a new two-year, $3.3 million contract prior to 2011-12.
Expectations weren’t enormous for D’Agostini in 2011-12 but fans were expecting him to be a contributor to the team’s offensive scheme. Things started out fairly well for D’Agostini in the year’s first month where he tallied four goals and two assists. At the time it appeared he was on track to at the very least match his production from 2010-11 despite not having a role on the team’s top scoring lines.
Unfortunately, October was D’Agostini’s best month of the season.
After scoring four times in his first 11 games, D’Agostini was only able to score five times over his next 38 games. To be fair, D’Agostini did suffer from a concussion during the year and upon returning he never really looked like the player we saw in 2010-11.
In 55 games D’Agostini rarely looked like a true threat on the ice. He showed glimpses of his 2010-11 talent but he wasn’t able to sustain pressure consistently. He saw fewer offensive chances due to his role on the team’s third line but still wasn’t able to capitalize even when offered an expanded opportunity.
Final numbers: 55 games – 9 goals, 9 assists (18 points) with a +12.
Regular season grade: C
Summarized: Injuries were a factor in D’Agostini’s 2011-12 season but the fact remains that when he was on the ice he rarely looked like the weapon he was in 2010-11. It’s unclear whether D’Agostini was ever truly in form after the season’s first month or after his concussion. Unfortunately, you can’t give D’Agostini a pass due to his injury as he still appeared in 55 games this season and still had numerous opportunities that ultimately were squandered.
D’Agostini only played in four playoff games for the Blues, one against the San Jose Sharks and three against the Los Angeles Kings. For the most part, D’Agostini’s playoff run mimicked his regular season form. Outside of one moment of pure brilliance, a nice snipe in the team’s 5-2 loss against LA, D’Agostini was quiet. It’s tough to analyze D’Agostini’s playoff form as the entire St. Louis roster was held in check by LA’s formidable defense.
Final numbers: 4 games – 1 goal, 0 assists (1 points) with an Even plus/minus.
Playoff grade: B-
Summarized: D’Agostini was activated in the playoffs in the hopes that he might bring a bit more of an offensive spark to the team’s quiet offense. His play in the playoffs perfectly summarized his year as a whole – one moment of brilliance lost in a sea of uninspired efforts. His snipe on Jonathan Quick was brilliant. Unfortunately, this was the only play made by D’Agostini that lingers in the minds of Blues fans.
D’Agostini is under contract for 2012-13 in the second year of his two-year, $3.3 million deal. It’s safe to say that he did little in 2011-12 to justify the raise he earned after a strong 2010-11 season. In the final year of his contract, D’Agostini will need another big effort if he hopes to land a new contract with the St. Louis Blues on a roster that could see plenty of change in 2012-13. It’s also critical that he is able to stay healthy throughout the season. In 2012-13 he likely will again spend time on the team’s third line but will need to bring an improved overall effort if he hopes to find additional playing time or a new deal.