(HockeySTL) -- The NHL announced its three stars for the month of October on Friday, and at the top was Blues forward Alex Steen.
Steen, 29, is off to the fastest start of his career. He led the NHL with 11 goals in October and had 16 total points, which ranked fifth in the NHL. Steen overtook Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the goal-scoring lead on Tuesday, when he scored for the 11th time this season, the seventh time in his last five games. The only game Steen hasn’t scored in this season was the Blues’ 6-2 loss to San Jose on Oct. 15.
“It’s only nine games,” Steen said when he tied Ovechkin for the goal-scoring lead in the League. “(Ovechkin’s) been doing it for years. I’ve been doing it for nine games.”
Steen is scoring on 35.5% of his shots so far this season. He has fired just 31 shots on goal through the first ten games, which is fewer than 79 other NHL players, yet Steen holds the goal-scoring lead. He has scored 2 goals in a game on 2 separate occasions this year and is tied for second in the NHL with two game-winning goals, both of which have come in the final minute of play. Four of Steen’s 11 goals have come on the power play, his highest total on the man-advantage since 2009-10 when he scored 7 power-play tallies.
His most recent goal came on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets, when he scored to give the Blues the lead with a minute remaining in the game.
Steen is just the third player in the past 20 years to net 11 goals through the first 10 games of the season. He has also tied Scott Young and Brett Hull for the second-fastest start in Blues history, scoring 10 or more goals in the first nine games of the season.
“Everyone is talking about the offensive numbers,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said earlier this week. “I don’t think that is as relevant. This is just the evolution of a complete player. He has a good conscience for the game, he sees the game properly. He understands 200 feet offensively and defensively.”
Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby and San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi followed Steen in the NHL’s star rankings. Crosby has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) in 13 games for the Penguins. Niemi backstopped the Sharks to a 9-1-2 start, stopping 92.4% of the shots he faced.
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