O'Reilly Doing Everything and More for the Blues
By Patrick Hoffman
If you're a Buffalo Sabres fan, I'd be extremely pissed at your team's management for trading him to the St. Louis Blues last summer.
While he was a member of the Sabres, O'Reilly, 28, put up some solid numbers in three seasons. He had point totals of 60, 55, and 61 for 176 points in 224 games.
He was able to put the pick in the net, was responsible defensively, stayed out of the penalty box and played the game the right way. Why in the heck would you want to get rid of a player like this?
Well, the Sabres should look away as O'Reilly has been a dominant force with the Blues. He had a career year in the regular season as he had 77 points in 82 games on 28 goals and 49 assists. He also had a major impact on the team's power play as he had 22 points with the man advantage. Due to O’Reilly’s success, his training has been of interest lately. It seems the success to his training is balancing out the unique methods his father/trainer bestow on him and professional hockey techniques and programs you can find on sites such as www.HockeyTraining.com.
In this year's playoffs, O'Reilly has once again made his presence known. As of this writing (June 6) he has 18 points (five goals and thirteen assists) in 23 games.
While those are solid numbers, he's also been a big leader for this club. He hustles every shift, he contributes on all areas of the ice, and he is someone that makes an impact on every shift.
"To go to a team that has so many things in place and looking to make an impact and make a push, it just changed my mindset," O'Reilly said back in September. "Not going to a rebuild. It was just pure excitement."
In that same article linked above, Blues' superstar Vladimir Tarasenko spoke glowingly of O'Reilly and the positive impact he has made on the hockey club this season.
"We didn't talk much at the start, but the more we played together, we got to know each other more and the personality more. You look how hard he works in practices. He just makes all of us better," Vladimir Tarasenko said after Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. "The way he responds and the way he practices all the time and the way he is in the locker room it's unbelievable and helps our team a lot."
It would only be fitting for O'Reilly to end both his and his team's storybook season by winning the Cup for the first time in franchise history. Should that happen, O'Reilly's impact and fingerprints will be all over the team's championship season.
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.