NHL Over/Under: How many goals for Alexander Steen?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Let's play a few games of NHL over/under. Up first, how many goals will St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen score this season?

The NHL season is two months old and if you take a look at the goal-scoring leader board you're sure to see a surprising name at the top of the list.

Right alongside Washington's Alex Ovechkin is St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen with 20 goals in his first 24 games. He is already just four goals away from matching his career high.

Steen has always been an excellent player (the type of player the advanced stats community in hockey always loves -- he's a Corsi monster and is always helping his team drive possession) but is having some unprecedented success this season when it comes to scoring goals.

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly he is doing different this season.

His possession numbers are similar, he isn't seeing any increased minutes on the power play, his shots per game average is close to his recent career levels, and he's not getting shots from any closer to the net than he normally does (his average shot distance this season is actually one foot further away from the net than it was a year ago).

The only difference is the puck just happens to be going in the net at a ridiculous pace.

After the Blues' 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, in which Steen scored his 20th goal of the season, he is shooting the lights out with a scorching 25.3 percent shooting percentage, leading the league among qualified shooters.

As great as that is right now, it's probably not going to last. Not only because it's unheard of for any player (only 37 players in league history have finished a season with a shooting percentage higher than 25 percent with a minimum of 100 shots ... and the list has some really random names on it), but also because he is just a 9.9 percent shooter for his career.

He's probably not going to keep pace with Ovechkin the rest of the season, so let's try to set a reasonable expectation for Steen the rest of the way.

The Blues have 58 games remaining and Steen is averaging 3.25 shots on goal per game. Assuming Steen remains healthy, and maintains that same shots per game average, that would put him on a pace for an additional 18 goals the rest of the way for a total of 38 for the season.

So we'll set the over/under for Alexander Steen goals this season at 38.5.

Does he reach it? Or does he continue to keep filling the net at an unprecedented rate?

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