Friday, June 3, 2022

Blues center Brayden Schenn

ST. LOUIS -- With the way his stats were running since Brayden Schenn arrived in St. Louis in 2017, a 20-plus goal season was bound to happen.

And with the Blues putting together nine guys to hit that mark this season, Schenn was certainly going to be among them.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Despite missing 20 games in the regular season due to injury, Brayden
Schenn (left) was among nine Blues to reach 20 or more goals this season.

Despite missing 20 games due to various injuries, the all-purpose center iceman was able to string together nearly a point per game season, finishing with 58 points (24 goals, 34 assists) and a career-high plus-21 rating. 

Schenn didn't score in the postseason for the Blues, and of course he was putting the onus on himself for not doing that, but he still managed to put up eight assists in 12 games while flipping back and forth between playing center and wing.

Playing through cracked ribs and an oblique injury didn't keep Schenn from being the Blues' physical wrecking ball when needed.

The 30-year-old, who became a first-time father this past season, reflects on the Blues reaching the second round this season, what he played through, along with a variety of other topics:

Thoughts on the season:
You know what, the team came together, bought in (the) team mentality. We had a lot of pieces ... started from the goalies out, a lot of depth in the organization and a lot of guys bought in. Had a successful regular season. We all want to win. We feel like we're right there and we're one of the top teams in the league. You know now we've just got to find a way to keep pushing and continue that for next season. Playoffs are funny, you just need to get in and you have a chance, and we felt like we had a chance this year and just obviously came up short.

On if he's over being eliminated in the second round:
I mean, when you see hockey games and scores this time of year, you want to be playing, that's no secret. I don't think you just lose and you're over it 24-48 hours later. Obviously it still hurts, you want to be playing and having a chance or competing to win the Stanley Cup again.

On if things are different had Jordan Binnington not been injured:
The 'what if?' you can go anyway with that. He was playing great hockey for us, no doubt about it. Came in and gave our team a ton of confidence, and at the same time, Ville (Husso) came in and played good goalie for us, too. You can look on injuries and 'what ifs' but there's a lot of 'what ifs' and you need luck throughout the playoffs. It's one of those things, it's a tough question to answer.

On what injuries you were playing through and what injuries you had throughout the season:
I mean it's three sets of broken ribs throughout the year, so that's one of those things. I've never broken a rib in my life, and one of those things where you get unlucky. Come back in the playoffs, like I said, I'm not here to make excuses at all. I've got to find a way to score a goal and produce in the playoffs. I'm not using injury as an excuse. I've got to find a way to be better, but as far as offensively, I feel myself and the team, everyone stepped up throughout the regular season and found a way to score goals. We had a high dynamic offense from the backend out. As far as that, injuries aren't an excuse, I'll never use them as an excuse when it comes to my play. It's just one of those things when you get unlucky sometimes.

Was it the broken ribs that caused you to miss games in the regular season:
The games I've missed this year, broke ribs three separate times and tore an oblique on the other side. It's compensation, it's unlucky. I was in San Jose on the last one and I didn't have the puck and Brent Burns drove his elbow and his forearm into the back of my ribs and broke them. You sit out time and you kind of get as healthy as possible into the playoffs. It's the reality of the sport and I'm not the only guy banged up in the playoffs. Like I said, I'll never use it as an excuse as far as my game goes.

Was it five broken ribs the first time:
It was five the first time. That was just an unlucky play. (Alex) DeBrincat, his stick got caught up in my skate and I went down. I don't know how many (broken ribs) last time, one or two, some cartilage in there, too. It's unlucky.

Thoughts on wanting to see David Perron back:
You're putting us on the manager's chair right now. We have absolutely zero pull when it comes to decisions like this. But what (Perron) means to our team and means to our locker room, I think he's come in a couple of times with the Blues and he's just getting better. He's one of those guys where he finds a way to score goals, he runs a very dynamic power play, he's good to old guys, to young guys, and I know he loves being here. So, an unfortunate situation with we have absolutely zero control over that. We'd love to have David Perron back, of course, as players. But it's a business and we know that and we can't really control it. But he plays well with (Ryan) O'Reilly and does a lot for us, and we'll see how that one shakes out.

On if this offense can continue to produce like this moving forward next season:
I've been on teams where you can't score goals and you've been on a team like this that can ... you know you're able to come back and score goals in any type of game, or any situation of game. I think when you see that, it gives guys confidence in the room and stuff like that. At the same time, the way to win Cups and advance round-in and round-out when the times get tough, and into the playoffs, is defense. So we have guys that can score and we have lots of guys that can play 200-foot games. That's how Army builds his teams, that's why he's been so successful and the Blues have been so successful for 10-plus years now, because guys bought in and play defense and that's how you win.

Thoughts on Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou and if there's still room for growth there:
Of course, they're only going to get better. They haven't even hit their prime yet, I don't think. What have I seen from them? I see two guys that have really bought into team mentality, guys that want to get better, guys that want to win. They're going to be cornerstones for this franchise moving forward for the foreseeable future. 'Tommer', the way he passes the puck and finds the open man, he's going to be one of the top playmakers in the league, and 'Rouzy', his ability to be explosive and challenge guys with their speed, you need guys like that on your team. So, they're huge pieces for us, and I'm sure Army challenged them last year to take a step forward and both guys obviously took a huge jump. Those guys are going to be huge pieces for us moving forward.

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