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The Sports Daily > Frozen Notes
Kyle Brodziak is playing some outstanding hockey

Kyle Brodziak may be the most underrated player on the St. Louis Blues roster. Taking things a step further, he may also be one of the most underrated and overlooked players in the NHL. Such is life as a fouth-line forward. In the case of Brodziak, his impact stretches beyond the usual mucking and grinding associated with a bottom of the roster forward.

It’s time to appreciate Brodziak for all of the things – both big and small – that he brings to the table.

Through 40 games in 2017-18, Brodziak has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. Last year he managed eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. With plenty of games left on the schedule, Brodziak should easily surpass last year’s totals and could have his best offensive total since his career-best 2011-12 when he scored 22 goals and 22 assists.

Unlike some of the other players on the roster, Brodziak hasn’t been afraid to shoot the puck. His 52 shots this season already nearly match last season’s total (55). In terms of PDO (a stat that reflects a team’s shooting and save percentage when a given player is on the ice), Brodziak is sitting above the baseline for what’s considered good (100) with a 102.1.

Those offensive totals are pretty remarkable considering that a whopping 70.8% of his starts this season have come in the defensive zone.

Shifting to the more intangible and less fancy items, Brodziak continually puts in hard shifts. He’s relentless pursuing the puck. He puts the puck in good areas of the ice, whether that means clearing it out or getting it in deep behind the other team’s defense. He makes the smart play more often than not. He’s just doing a lot of things well.

More players on the roster need to start competing at the same level as Brodziak.

One thought on “Kyle Brodziak is playing some outstanding hockey

  1. Upshall is actually in a fairly similar position to Brodziak here, if with more speed, and more dumb penalties. He’s one point off of Brodziak’s pace at the moment, and only four points behind his pace from last year (in 73 total games), while seeing the same kind of heavy defensive usage (68.3%).

    Perhaps not so incidentally, their offensive numbers put them 9th and 10th on the team at the moment. I wouldn’t say there’s anyone behind them on the scoring sheet that would be a surprise – Berglund’s there, but that’s because he missed the first 24 games of the season. The next two names on the list, for the curious, are Edmundson and Jaskin with 12 points each.

    Looked at another way, after the top three goal scorers, Brodziak’s 7 goals tie him for fourth on the team with Pietrangelo, Stastny, and Sobotka, and Upshall’s 6 tie him for eighth with Edmundson and Berglund.

    Finally, speaking of Berglund, say what you will about how he doesn’t put up the goal/assist splits that one would normally associate with a centre, he does do a solid job of putting the puck in the net when he’s healthy. Nothing to sneeze at, on a team that seems to constantly lack for enough players who can finish plays with the opposition fishing the puck out of the twine.

    Liked by 1 person

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