The story of Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a never-ending tale that delivers climactic scenes at every page turn. If he’s not scoring two impactful goals in his first NHL contest, he’s scoring at will in his first full postseason series. If he’s not doing that, he’s scoring a highlight-reel goal that has the entire NHL abuzz or he’s contributing to a teammate’s hat trick.
The St. Louis Blues’ 2010 first-round pick, 16th overall, added another memorable chapter to his fable on Tuesday night, when he notched his second three-goal performance of the young 2014-15 season. His power-play tally at 13:00 of the third period stood as the game winner in the Blues’ 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings. It was also his drive to the net at 11:03 of the third period that caused Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr to hook him down and give the Blues a five-on-three power play.
Tarasenko is just the third player in the League to reach 20 goals this season and is currently tied with New York Rangers forward Rick Nash for second in the category. He is the first Blues player to record two hat tricks in a season since Brett Hull did so during the 1996-97 season.
Last St Louis Blues player b4 Vladimir Tarasenko to have 4 Points in a game more than once in a season — Pavol Demitra 2000-01 #stlblues
— STL Blues History (@STLBlueshistory) December 17, 2014
What else can be said about Tarasenko? He’s been the center of conversation all season long and has captured the hearts of Blues fans across the world. He’s made defensemen look near foolish and has found holes in goalies that never before existed.
We’ve heard what the fans and NHL pundits across all media platforms think about him and his abilities. Tarasenko’s teammates were the latest to sound off on the Russian’s impact to the lineup after his impeccable performance on Tuesday.
I’ve said it all year long – we’re fortunate to have him on our team. He’s a superstar now and he’s only going to get better. He’s finally getting to show the world what he can do. He’s one of a kind.
It’s unbelievable how he elevates his game. It’s pretty impressive to see it from him every single game. Scoring 20 goals before Christmas is something special but it’s a testament to his work ethic, his practice of shooting the puck (the way he does) and being such a smart player at a young age. It’s really neat to see for yourself.
(Tarasenko) shoots the puck so incredibly well that you (have to) tip your hat. He’s got 20 goals already. He’s the real deal.
He’s so dynamic. You try to hit him and he’s sidestepping you. All of a sudden, you’re tripping him or he’s (beating) you. He’s that quick when he’s got the puck. He’s deceptive and I think that’s on display on a regular basis. Some guys give him a hard time for trying to embellish things or whatnot but I think he’s just that explosive that it looks like he’s mid cross-overing and he goes down hard because he’s really selling those moves. Heck of a game by him, he deserves a lot of credit.
One thing about Vladi is that if he gets one, he’s hungry. He plays (hard) but then when he gets one he gets really hungry and he gets his game to another level, which is what he did in the third period.
It’s a long game. Credit to my linemates and my teammates for (supporting) me. It’s really nice to have a hat trick here at Scottrade (Center). Thanks to the fans, it was unbelievable.
I am a former NHL media member and reporter for the St. Louis Blues, working for various media outlets. Currently, I am an NHL News Writer and Editor for The Hockey Writers. I live in St. Louis and work as a freelance copywriter in numerous industries.