Yes, yes. I know he doesn’t care to be called the Tank. Still, no offense to any of Minnesota’s players, but Vladimir Tarasenko is the best player either team has.
Tarasenko has a combined 116 goals over the last three seasons. Despite Blues fans’ constant whine that he needs to be better in the playoffs, he has 19 career playoff goals and 26 points in 33 playoff games played.
Until he ran out of gas against San Jose last year, he was proving to be the scorer we all wanted. Blues fans will always want someone like Brett Hull to put up a goal-per-game pace, but that’s not realistic anymore.
Tarasenko is the best scorer the Blues have had since the Golden Brett and, myself included, we should all be more appreciative.
He passes too much and is not quite as selfish as we would like. He is capable of being a difference maker even if he does not have that mentality to put the team on his shoulders at all times.
On top of his regular season accolades, he is pretty good at playing the Wild. He scored six goals in six games the last time these two met in the playoffs. Tarasenko had two goals against Minnesota this year as well.
The Blues secondary scorers are going to need to do their part. St. Louis proved they could not rely only on Tarasenko during that 2015 series with Minnesota, so they will need scoring from other parties as well.
If Vlady gets hot though, look out. He is a streaky scorer and is currently on a hot streak.
Blues fans everywhere will be hoping that continues into the second season.