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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Hat-Trick Hero Tarasenko Leading Stealth Blues Offense

  • Vladimir Tarasenko is now the 10th active NHLer with multiple career playoff hat-tricks.
  • His $7.5M salary leads the team but is just 54th in the league.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

On a night where Kirill Kaprizov — one of the NHL’s buzziest players — set a Wild franchise record with his seventh goal in a playoff series, a Russian winger on the other team stole the show.

Vladimir Tarasenko recorded a natural hat-trick in the third period to lift St. Louis over Minnesota 5-2, setting a Blues’ playoff record by scoring the first and second goals just 68 seconds apart.

The resurgent 30-year-old is leading a quietly potent offense that has put St. Louis just one win from the Western Conference Semifinals.

  • Tarasenko is now the 10th active NHLer with multiple career playoff hat-tricks.
  • He recorded a career-high 82 points and 48 assists in the regular season.
  • St. Louis was third in the league in goals per game (3.8) and second in power-play percentage (27.0%) in 2021-22.

Tarasenko is tied with captain Ryan O’Reilly for the highest cap hit on the team at $7.5 million per season — which ranks only 54th in the NHL.

But both will be unrestricted free agents in 2023 — and the team will need to find some cap space to keep them after signing three defensemen to $6.5 million AAV each (Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko).

Despite the momentum, the Blues still only have the seventh-best odds (+1800) to win it all — and would have to face the favorite Colorado Avalanche (+210) in the next round.

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