Steen is First Quarter Breakout Star

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 11:11 AM
Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues

Blues forward Alexander Steen has been listed as one of NHL.com's first-quarter breakout stars.

NHL.com columnist John Kreiser ranks Steen with Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene and Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.

Here's what Kreiser had to say about Steen:

The son of former Winnipeg Jets star Thomas Steen managed all of eight goals in 40 games in 2012-13 and has never scored more than 24 in any full season. He's already blown past last season's total and seems sure to have a career season at age 29.

Steen scored 17 goals in the St. Louis Blues' first 19 games. He's scoring at a pace no one wearing the Blue Note has matched since Brett Hull's blazing start (19 goals in 19 games) fueled an 86-goal season in 1990-91.

"I don't think we should be comparing myself to Brett Hull," Steen said.

No one is suggesting he'll hit the kind of numbers Hull put up on his prime, but Steen was the NHL's First Star of the month for October. He shares the NHL lead in goals and is No. 1 with 26 points, one less than he had all last season.

But Steen's offensive success hasn't come at the expense of his defensive responsibilities. He was plus-11 through 19 games on one of the NHL's stingiest defensive teams.

"To me, Alex's confidence comes from his preparation, his commitment to conditioning," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's a perfect example of a player that's been diligent at making himself better. I think he's just a great example of what happens when you put your best foot forward work-wise, conditioning-wise. I think he said it best: He feels like he's fresh on the ice. When you're fresh, you're confident, and that's how he feels right now."

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