Through 12 playoff games, Jaden Schwartz is already up to eight goals, good for second in the NHL. That’s a stark difference from his 11 goals in 69 games during the regular season but Schwartz has shown his goal-scoring ability in the past, with three 24+ goals season to his name. What’s really surprising is how he’s managed to score this post-season. Four of his eight playoff goals have come via deflections, including this mid-air tip against the Stars in Game 3.
No other player has recorded more than three deflection goals in the playoffs so far, leaving Schwartz alone on top of the leaderboard. If that’s not the name you expected to top the list, you’re not alone. Over the last four regular seasons combined, the Blues winger has only five deflection goals, total: none this past season, two in 2017-18, three in 2016-17 and again none in 2015-16, when he missed over half the year to injury. That’s five of 62 goals during that span, or about 8.1% of his total production. His last deflection goal before these playoffs started was on April 7, 2018, over a calendar year ago.
Schwartz has only deflected 6 shots on net this postseason, so the scoring pace is almost guaranteed to go down long-term. Still, playoff hockey doesn’t care about sample size and his 6 deflections on-net place him behind only Patrice Bergeron and Anders Lee, with seven each. So, keep an eye on Schwartz going to the front of the net in Game 7. Maybe a timely deflection goal will be the difference between the Conference finals or a second round exit.