One man will not often win you the Stanley Cup, especially a forward. Goaltenders have the biggest impact, but even then you need help.
Still, the resurgence of Vladimir Tarasenko gives the Blues that extra jolt toward a championship. St. Louis has the weapons, but when your superstar is a superstar again, it’s that little added boost to your offense.
Tarasenko is back in 2022 – to borrow a phrase from Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, “not that he went anywhere.”
We forget how consistent Tarasenko is and has been. His two injury riddled seasons tainted the perception.
When healthy, Tarasenko has scored 30-plus goals every season except his rookie and sophomore season. He only played 38 games that first year and still got 21 goals in 64 games the following year.
It’s been 30-plus all the full years after that. There was a 40-goal year mixed in just to get our hopes up too.
Not only has Tarasenko regained the scoring touch, but he got even better overall. He set a career high for points and assists.
He proved to be clutch, scoring nine game-winning goals. That’s also a new career best, beating the previous mark by four goals.
Regardless of what the naysayers on social media say, he’s been a more physical player. Tarasenko had 83 regular season hits in 2021-22. The last time he had over 80 hits in a season – the 2018-19 season. St. Louis won something pretty important that year.
What’s more impressive about Tarasenko’s stats are that he’s averaging the third lowest minutes per game in his career. That means he has actually been more productive per minute than other years.