St. Louis Blues is the story of the Cinderella NHL last season. Following the script for a good Hollywood movie, the team rose from last place before Christmas to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Ryan’s Center O'Reilly played a major role in the fairy tale “From Rags to Riches”. He led the Blues with 77 points, including 49 assists in the team competition in the regular season, then added eight more goals and 15 assists during the playoffs. His exploits brought O & # 39; Reilly Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP playoffs and Frank J. Selke's trophy as the league's main defender.
Any evil half-sisters hoping the blues break midnight this season were disappointed. St. Louis (31-12-8) leads the Western Conference with 70 points.
Oh & # 39; Reilly also picked up where he left off. After 51 games, his 44 points are second in the blues, and he leads the team with 35 assists. Together with David Perron and Bryden Shenn, he helped fill the void left by the injury of Vladimir Tarasenko.
Although his numbers are good, O'Reilly believes that they could be better.
“Every year, you want to improve and be better,” said the representative 29-year-old Clinton, Ontario. “This year I don’t know where my numbers are, where I want them to be. As a team, and you look at the position in which we are, and this is wonderful.
“It just shows the depth that we have as a team. This year was a lot of fun, and there was still a lot of work and a long way to go. We are definitely doing everything right (if), we ”I will have another opportunity. "
Oh & # 39; Reilly helped in linking the games, and then scored in a shootout during the victory of the “blue” with a score of 5: 4 over the “Calgary fire” on Tuesday evening. He won the overtime loss in Philadelphia on January 15 to overcome a goalless drought from seven games.
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“It would be nice, at least, to hit the double numbers by entering the game of the stars,” said O & # 39; Reilly, who has nine goals this season. “There are so many other things that I can do to help contribute. I want to score, obviously, and when I score, I feel that this gives us more chances to win.
“I think I can improve in the second half and play my best.”
Oh & # 39; Reilly showed his sense of humor at a star game last weekend in St. Louis. He put on the Kansas chief's helmet while warming up for a Friday skills contest.
“We have one in our training room,” said O'Reilly about the helmet. “I thought it would be ridiculous to just drop it and buzz.”
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Oh & # 39; Reilly arrived in St. Louis on July 1, 2018, exchanging with Buffalo, and had a direct impact on the team. General manager Doug Armstrong said the game at the beginning of last season was the only reason Blues had a faint hope of reaching the playoffs.
“Last year, when we started, he was the most consistent player in October, November and December,” Armstrong said. “Then our team caught up with Ryan and he remained very good throughout the second part of the season and the playoffs.”
“He's back in the same position this year. Now he has become part of our leadership group. Thanks to his work ethic in everyday life, young players have someone to follow, someone imitates. It was also advertised from the day we purchased it.
Oh & # 39; Reilly was selected at Colorado's 33rd spot in 2009. In his early years, he was more of a quarterback and won the Lady Bing trophy in 2012.
Experience and capabilities have allowed O & # 39; Railay to develop.
“I always had good hands,” he said. “I think my shot is something that made me feel better and I'm working on different releases.
“It only developed over the years when I felt more comfortable and tried to develop my game. You want to be a center that contributes to both ends of the ice. I am very proud of this. There is no secret gain of points, probably the most interesting thing in the game, except for victory. "
Tarasenko, who led St. Louis with 33 goals last year, played just 10 matches this season, and then injured his left shoulder. The blues skipped his production, but his absence made all the forwards focus on their game.
“I think that if he leaves, it will make you feel like a group that we need to create, we must find a way to put the puck on the net,” O & # 39; Reilly said. "We are not going to force him to save us.
“It helped us with depth and the guys are building up differently. When we return it to the playoffs, or, I hope, earlier, we will be the best team. ”
No matter how exciting the way to the Stanley Cup finals is, it can also be tiring. Even with a short summer, the Blues did not seem to suffer from a hangover after the Cup. They won 12 of their first 18 games, including seven in a row.
“I think with a short summer, you just want to go back to this and move on,” O & # 39; Reilly said.
“The most fun this year was to play games, to win. It’s nice to come back and be back in a situation where you know that you are working on a creation in order to win another one. ”