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Blues’ Tarasenko starts season on fire

Jan 21, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

tarasenkocelegetty Getty Images

It’s comically early, but so far, Vladimir Tarasenko is making an empathic argument that he was worth the wait for the St. Louis Blues.

The 21-year-old kept the momentum going from a two-goal night on Saturday, helping his Blues squeak by the Nashville Predators with a 4-3 shootout win on Monday thanks in large part to his three points.

Tarasenko is currently tied for the league lead in points at five with Marian Hossa, Martin St. Louis and Thomas Vanek.

You can check out his fancy first NHL goal from the season-opener here, while this assist on an Andy McDonald goal might just be his best Monday highlight:

Here’s his lone tally of the night, for argument’s sake. (NHL.com‘s cute headline: “A patient Vlad.”)

OK, that was pretty nice, too.

Obviously we’re just on day three of the season, but the Russian’s exhilarating start should make him an early leader in the Calder Trophy race.

He might need more ice time to keep his production level high, though. As you can see from his early numbers, he’s making the most of his chances:

Game 1: two goals, five shots and a +1 rating in 13:52 time on ice.

Game 2: one goal, two assists, three shots and a +1 in 14:54 minutes.

To provide some context: 2012 Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog averaged 18:36 minutes per game. Tarasenko also has great competition in a pretty stacked first-year class.

Scoring five points every two games is too much to ask, but do you believe that Tarasenko will remain atop the rookie race by the end of the season?

  1. 22bju - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Could this be the second coming of Brett Hull that we’ve all been waiting for???

    • paperlions - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      I am hoping he is a more complete player than Hull, I realize that isn’t setting the bar particularly high in terms of multiple skills, but still.

  2. bluesrawesome - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    This kid is some thing else. Hockey sense is out of the world these are his first 2 games on N American ice hes going to be amazing what Blues Fans have been waiting for. He looks like the next Malkin, Stamkos, Crosby. Not really sure if hes more of a passer or shooter are both like Malkin.

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    This kid is a beast. Built like Ovechkin and a ton of skill. Just another talented forward in what I think is the deepest forward group in hockey. Still early but Blues look entirely capable of living up to the hype. Especially since they were able to pull one #1 goalie and replace him with another #1 goalie. Looks like Vancouver isn’t gonna get that #1 seed this year.

    • eggserino - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      Just let someone in the east win the President’s trophy. That thing is an f’ing albatross.

  4. thehighcountrybear - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    It’s fortunate Tootoo cut him a break, and bypassed the killer take-out the other night [ first time I saw a misconduct penalty for missing a hit...? ]. Ya’all gotta watch Brunner’s shootout winner to appreciate where the likely Calder competition is coming from. Five points for Tarasenko but only plus 2…? Hitch will not be happy…

    • paperlions - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      That is because 6 of their 9 goals have been on the PP or SH.

    • spetznaz777 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      i cleary can see you were’nt paying attention to the game or hockey in general. you have too much pride to even sniff at giving a blues player an ounce of credit. damien brunner? this years fabian brunnstrom?

  5. thehighcountrybear - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Take it back…surprised to learn Brunner is 26, and is too old for rookie of the year? Must be 25 through September 15 of season in question…

    • millertime30 - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      unless there isn’t a September 15, of the season in question.
      #ThanksGary #NotReally

  6. mickeyb21 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Pretty sure Tootoo missed him because Tarasenko moved out of the way. The misconduct was most likely the refs way of keeping control of a game that was a complete blowout. Had he made contact, it would have been a charging penalty anyway.

    Also, Brunner is too old to qualify for the Calder, so not a competition there. Even if there was one, Tarasenko is leading Brunner in that race. Did you see him beat Quincy for his first goal? What about his second goal?

    Finally, most of the Blues goals have been on the Powerplay, 5 goals in 7 opportunities. Can’t get a plus for any of those. If he finishes each game +1, that’s fine with me.

  7. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    He’ll be brought back to Earth tonight …

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      When you’re right, you’re right.

  8. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Okay I’ll bite, added him to my fantasy team, but only because he’s getting time on the PP and is on a solid team. A player like him on a crappy team would hurt my plus/minus. I dropped Seabrook for him, so he better get me some points tonight!

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