The main thought process going through social media is that Tarasenko is done. His shoulder is too badly damaged and he will never again regain the form that made him one of the most consistent scorers in the league.
However, this line of thinking is foolish and not well thought out. People look at simple goal totals and say Tarasenko only has seven goals the last two seasons. Seriously?
He had three goals in 10 games in 2019-20, prior to getting hurt. That was not setting the world on fire, but that averages out to 25 goals in a full season. Tarasenko was always known for hitting a hot streak, which would have put him on pace for his normal 30.
With that in mind, we are basing his apparent demise on 24 games, coming off a second shoulder surgery – the bubble injury does not count because the entire team played horribly. I implore those of you who have not suffered shoulder problems to think about what you are asking of someone when you think they should still score a bunch of goals after two surgeries and not playing hockey for almost two years.
This is common among fans. The majority of Blues fans were ready to jettison Jay Bouwmeester into the wild before the 2018-19 season. He had been a shell of his former self, but he had not fully recovered from a hip surgery.
We saw what he was capable of when fully healthy. If not for Bouwmeester, the St. Louis Blues don’t even reach the Stanley Cup Final. His defensive play and ability to shut down the opposition’s top lines was invaluable.
Are we so ready to assume, based on 24 games, that Tarasenko does not have that rebound left in him? St. Louis doesn’t have a good track record of making those decisions.
Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, TJ Oshie, Rod Brind’Amour, Doug Gilmour, Scott Stevens and 33 other players went on to win Stanley Cups after the Blues sent them away. It used to be a joke that your career would take a turn for the better after the Blues traded you.
If Tarasenko is fully healthy and actually angry with his treatment by the franchise, I would put money down on him hitting 30-plus goals with another team. That just doesn’t look good.