The Blues had a pretty good last week of the season, though unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get them home ice advantage. Regardless of that, we can look at today’s three stars of the week announcements and feel pretty ok with the direction that the team’s headed. Vladimir Tarasenko close the NHL season out with the last First Star of the Week award.
From the NHL’s press release:
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has been named ‘First Star’ for the week ending Apr. 7. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne and Dallas forward Alexander Radulov were named second and third star, respectively.
Tarasenko led the NHL with seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games to help the Blues (45-28-9, 99 points) earn seven out of eight possible standings points and finish third in the Central Division. He scored once in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Apr. 1, before logging a goal and an assist against the Chicago Blackhawks on Apr. 3. Tarasenko added multiple points in each of his next two outings, picking up two assists in a 7-3 triumph against the Philadelphia Flyers on Apr. 4 and a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks on Apr. 6. The 27-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native finished the regular season with 68 points (33 goals, 35 assists) in 76 games, making him one of two players with at least 30 goals in each of the past five campaigns (Alex Ovechkin).
It’s the first time Tarasenko recieved the honor this year; he was also named second star of the week for the week of February 18th, and was also named third star of the month for Feburary.
Tarasenko’s seven points on the week is indicative of his increased pace as the season went on. Starting the season slowly like much of the rest of the team, Tarasenko took a few months to fully bounce back from the shoulder injury sustained in the final game of last season. His performance in February (10 goals and 12 assists in in 14 games) was absolutely ridiculous and his regular season points for April may show him heading down that route again going into the playoffs against the Jets.