Let’s watch Vladimir Tarasenko ether something called Mikey Anderson during the Blues’ 3-0 win last night over the Kings, shall we:
Remember kids, Tarasenko isn’t quite as dangerous simply corralled outside the dots, but then you slightly lean over like you’re trying to prod some roadkill and boom — he opens the velvet rope to the slot.
It’s part of a dominating start to the season for Tarasenko and St. Louis. “Tank” has three goals and three assists in five games, all of which the Blues have won. Tarasenko’s metrics are also somewhere among the clouds, with both his Corsi percentage and expected goals percentage over 55 percent. That’s a little easier to do as Tarasenko is starting 81 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, but when you’re cashing in at over a point per game, people tend to not care.
What makes it even more flavorful is that Tarasenko asked to be traded out of St. Louis back in July, but the Blues couldn’t, or wouldn’t, find a partner to take him. There was reason for teams to be cautious about Tarasenko, as he’d only played 34 games the previous two seasons thanks to a shoulder that turned into Purina. And it was that shoulder that was reportedly at the root of his desire to go tail lights on the Blues. He’d had two surgeries performed by the team doctors that didn’t correct the ligament damage, only for his own surgeon to finally get it right on the third try. Tarasenko also wasn’t thrilled about not being named captain, even though he had been the Blues’ longest serving star.
These things tend to quiet down when both player and team are crushing skulls into dust, as the Blues are. Perhaps the Blues have ducked this storm, and Tarasenko has found the grass isn’t always greener. Even with only two seasons left on his reasonable deal, with a flat cap it’s a challenge for a team to find room for his $7.5 million hit. Especially with the astronomical price the Blues would have been asking in return. Sometimes an arranged marriage can work out, it seems.