The top line for the Note continued its remarkable run Tuesday night in an 8-3 trouncing of the Oilers at Scottrade Center, as the Blues took over the NHL points lead with 33 points.
The team the Blues passed—the Lightning—boasts a pretty good top line of its own, with wingers Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov claiming the top two spots in individual point rankings at 35 and 33, respectively. It’s hard to compete with that type of scoring prowess, but the Blues’ lead trio stacks up pretty well with anyone.
Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and the center who brings the line together, Brayden Schenn, take up fourth through sixth on the NHL points leaderboard. They added to their collective totals in a big way Tuesday as St. Louis rolled over Edmonton.
Each member of the top line notched four points, with Schenn and Tarasenko each scoring twice with two assists, while Schwartz scored a goal and assisted on three others. As of late, there’s not been anything this line can’t do.
“Oh, and now they fight, too,” Mike Yeo said.
Yeo was referring to the moment that drew a louder cheer from the crowd than any of the Blues eight goals or Jake Allen’s sparkling saves. Taking exception to a hit on Brayden Schenn in the second period, Vladimir Tarasenko stepped in and dropped the gloves with Matt Benning—and got in a few good rips at the Edmonton defenseman.
“Took a couple boxing lessons, so…” Tarasenko joked. No. 91 chalked up the tussle, only the third fight of his NHL career, as simply part of the game and the emotions that arise from the heat of competition. Schenn viewed it as evidence of this team’s willingness to go to battle for their brothers.
“Hats off to him,” Schenn said. “We don’t need that guy fighting but I guess he decided to drop the mitts. You look at that from a team perspective and guys are willing to stick up for one another. That goes a long way. When you see our best player doing that, it makes everyone want to do it.”
Though a broken hand would have most folks feeling a little differently about Tarasenko’s decision to take a few cracks at Benning, it’s the kind of move that further establishes that what the Blues have going right now is pretty special. And it all comes back to the top line.
“It’s just clicking,” Schenn said. “We’re working for one another and we’re able to control the puck a bit down low, and just find each other on the ice. We know where each other are right now. We’re playing a give-and-go game and we’re able to create opportunities from it.”
Schenn has taken advantage of his opportunities to the tune of an eight-game point streak, but even amidst his personal success, the success of his line, and that of his team—he’s not taking anything for granted.
“Don’t sit back just because you’re having success right now,” Schenn said. “You want to keep pushing, your foot on the gas, and keep working and trying to get better.”
This top line getting any better—that would be something else.