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Vladimir Tarasenko’s picking up the pace at the right time

Tarasenko is hitting one of his signature hot streaks.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues could be a sleeping giant in the postseason.

Why? Let’s focus on Blues right winger and alternate captain Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko missed the first half of the regular season due to a shoulder injury, but he has returned to on-ice action — and he has been picking up the pace at the right time.

ISt. Louis has 12 games left in the regular season: two games against Colorado, four games against Minnesota, two games against Anaheim, two games against Vegas, and one game against Los Angeles. The Blues have a tough late season stretch, but anything is possible in the coming weeks.

Tarasenko has appeared on the scoresheet in three of his last six games dating back to April 5. He scored one goal and recorded five shots on April 7 versus the Golden Knights at the Enterprise Center. He picked up one assist, recorded one shot, and earned a +2 rating on April 9 versus the Wild at the Enterprise Center. More recently, he picked up one assist and recorded five shots on April 14 versus the Avalanche at the Enterprise Center.

Right now, Tarasenko might not be the goal-scoring machine that he once was, but he injured his shoulder, and as a result, he had to miss five months. There are a few question marks around his future as he has a history of shoulder injuries, and another one can be detrimental to his career. He’s fortunate to recover and play the sport that he loves.

If Tarasenko continues to deliver offensively, St. Louis can close out the season on a more positive note — but there’s a catch. The Blues have to score more goals and improve their defense. One player can’t drag them across the finish line alone.