Some weeks, you look at the NHL’s three stars and you can feel that they’re stretching. This week, you look at their three stars and know exactly why each player deserves a slot on the list. The NHL’s three stars are Alexander Kucherov (3 goals, 7 assists, ten points), Vladimir Tarasenko (4-6-10), and Sidney Crosby (2-8-10).
The Tampa Bay Lightning are first in the league with a batshit 94 points and an 45-11-4 record, going 8-0-2 in their last ten. Kucherov leads the team right now with an equally insane 99 points (20 goals, 79 assists). It’s hard to disagree with his accolade, but allow me to attempt to argue a point that no one cares about: Tarasenko probably should’ve gotten first star of the week.
His production is part of why the Blues are entering play tonight against Toronto with a perfect 10-0-0 record in their last ten games. The Blues have been yanked from last place in the NHL to third in the Central, and it’s difficult to not point to Tarasenko being a key component in that. Fixing a problem and maintaining excellence are two tough tasks, but I would argue with a problem like the one that the Blues had earlier this season, fixing that is way harder than anything that the Bolts have had to deal with.
From the NHL’s Three Stars press release:
Tarasenko also registered multiple points in each of his contests, compiling 4-6—10 in four games to help the Blues (31-22-5, 67 points) match a franchise record with their 10th straight victory overall. Tarasenko posted his fourth career three-assist performance – and first since Dec. 9, 2016 (0-3—3 at NJD) – in an 8-3 win against the New Jersey Devils Feb. 12. He then scored twice, his fifth multi-goal outing of the season, in a 4-0 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes Feb. 14. Tarasenko capped the week with the winning goal in each of his final two contests, posting 1-1—2 in a 3-0 victory against the Colorado Avalanche Feb. 16 and 1-2—3 in a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild Feb. 17. In doing so, the 27-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native eclipsed the 400-point milestone (204-197—401 in 478 GP), requiring the fifth-fewest games in franchise history to achieve the feat. Tarasenko ranks second on St. Louis with 26-25—51 overall this season (57 GP), highlighted by 11-11—22 during a career-high 12-game point streak.