The early playoff end for the Blues means international hockey for big names.
The NHL post-season ended last night for Vladimir Tarasenko, as well as for Dmitri Orlov and Ilya Samsonov of the Washington Capitals. The end of playoff runs (or small sprints, in the Blues’ and Capitals’ cases) means that players have an opportunity to play for their home countries in the annual World Championships.
This year’s World Championships began on May 21st and conclude on June 6th. The IIHF announced this morning that the troika of Russians will be joining their countrymates in Latvia shortly:
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 24, 2021
Yesterday, in the post-game press conference, Tarasenko revealed that he has been playing injured:
“I have some groin problems,” he said. “Basically, it needs just time to heal. While the playoffs go on I feel more confident, but our season is done now so I have a lot of time to figure it out. But our medical staff did a great job. There is credit to them. They help me be on the same page too, help me get ready to play.”
He also addressed his shoulder surgeries:
“There’s a lot of experts,” Tarasenko said. “Honestly, nobody knows what my injuries were. Everybody think it’s the same thing for three (surgeries), but this is not true. There is three different things that happen. Now the shoulder is 100 percent, I have no concerns about it. There’s a lot of predictions, a lot of stuff, but you know, the time will show who is right and who is wrong.”
Tarasenko scored the Blues only two goals last night in the 5-2 loss that ended their series to the Colorado Avalanche. It looked like a (very late) sign that he could be returning to form; watching his IIHF play could also be a barometer of his progress.