St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko Will Dominate When Hockey Returns

The St. Louis Blues have two things going for them if/when the NHL resumes its 2019-20 season. They will have their best scorer back and he will be hungry.

As we wait and see if the St. Louis Blues will be able to finish their true defense of the Stanley Cup, I choose to be an optimist and say some form of finish will come. Thus, why not discuss who might lead the team when things restart.

What better place to start than with the player the Blues should be counting on. If/when the 2019-20 season resumes, Vladimir Tarasenko is going to hit the ground running.

It would be easy to question this idea. Tarasenko is not normally a great spring player.

In fact, Tarasenko’s lowest point percentage is in the playoffs. He scores around 0.7 points per game in the playoffs, while scoring anywhere from 0.81 to almost a point per game in the months that cover the regular season.

So, why should we expect Tarasenko to come out firing if the playoffs are eventually played? Because he’s a strong starter.

Tarasenko scores almost a point per game in the month of October when everyone is just getting started. He has 68 points in 71 career games played in the month of October.

That’s 0.95 points per game. He’s contributing to the offense 95% of the time the Blues hit the ice in October.

That has nothing to do with the month the games are being played in. It has everything to do with coming off a break.

Tarasenko is clearly better when he is well rested, or at least sharper. He might have a handful more goals in other months, but he’s more consistently productive coming off a break.

Tarasenko is shockingly consistent given how inconsistent a scorer he seems like. Looking at his splits, he has 30-plus goals in every single month of the season in his career except for April and that is only because he has not had enough games in April yet (regular season games that is).

Still, the percentage of scoring per game is what we’re looking at. He gets on the stat sheet 95% of the time.

Tarasenko scores a goal 45% of the time in October. That might not sound great as a percentage, but it basically means he scores a goal every other game.

On top of that, you know he is just itching to come back. Tarasenko has not played since October of 2019.

Even if the season started today, he would have had the longest break in his career. He is going to be foaming at the mouth to hit the ice and tickle the twine with some goals.

You might think he’ll be rusty or out of shape. However, Tarasenko has nothing to do but focus on being in shape.

His immediate family is all in St. Louis. He doesn’t have the distraction of worrying how the kids might be getting on if they were back in Russia.

He doesn’t have to worry about how his wife is doing. He knows because they’re here.

Of course, we all have family in other places and Tarasenko does still have family in Russia. Nevertheless, talking to them on the phone or personal devices is normal for him.

So, focusing on hockey and keeping in shape is all he’s had to do once his rehab began. Tarasenko would not let all that work go to waste until the team and the league told him to ramp it down and just get ready for 2020-21.

As long as there is hope of playing, Tarasenko will be ready to go. When they go, he’s going to really go.

The Blues might or might not repeat as champions. I could easily see this as being the best playoffs of Tarasenko’s career to this point, if/when they do play.

That would be something to see, especially since he already set a new best of 11 goals en route to the Stanley Cup last season.