St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko First To Hit The Ice

The St. Louis Blues have been slow to get going in the NHL’s reopening. However the player that needs the most ice time is the one that is getting it.

Things are still up in the air about whether the St. Louis Blues will actually get to play games to finish off the 2019-20 season. Nevertheless, the NHL is moving forward and teams have the availability to practice in small groups.

To date, the Blues have not participated in organized practices in Phase 2. Their top goal scorer has taken to the ice, however.

This might not seem that important, but it is. Tarasenko is the one player that needs to be on the ice the most.

The Blues sniper has not participated in a game since October 24, 2019. If/when the NHL does resume, Tarasenko will have had a full nine months between games.

What is worse is that he could not skate recently. Tarasenko was on the ice as much as he was allowed during his rehab from the shoulder injury. However, like all hockey players, he could not continue skating during the pandemic.

That means, not only was he already rusty from missing games, but now he’s rusty from not even being in a rink for months. As I suggested when they first opened during Phase 2, the Blues needed to allow Tarasenko to skate at the very least. That has happened.

Tarasenko was able to get out and skate and take shots, with passes presumably fed from a member of staff.

Tarasenko also had the chance to talk to Chris Kerber after the practice. He was quite happy to be back on the ice.

This is exactly what needed to happen. Tarasenko has had the most time away from the game, so it was important for Tarasenko to be on the ice, at the very least.

On the flip side of that argument, the playing field has been evened. Jeremy Rutherford pointed out that with so much time off across the board, more players will be rusty just like Tarasenko, which means him coming back is that much more likely to benefit the Blues based on pure talent alone.

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Regardless, it is good to see him back in the rink properly. Now, if we can just get him in some real games in July, that’ll be the icing on the cake.

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