Frozen Pool Forensics: Vladimir Tarasenko

by Cam Robinson on May 20, 2016

Frozen Pool: Digging into Vladimir Tarasenko's ice time and production. 

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We continue our playoff editions of Frozen Pool Forensics by looking at one of the league’s top snipers.

Vladimir Tarasenko is no stranger to the spotlight. The lauded 24-year-old winger has long been considered one of the premier talents coming out of Russia this generation. His penchant for scoring highlight reel goals is second only to the size of his legs – there’s a reason they call him Tank.

This postseason, much has been made of the St. Louis Blues and their attempt to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1969-70 when an expansion team was a mandatory participant and were quickly swept aside by a powerhouse Bruins’ team. Since then, the Blues have only qualified for the Conference finals three times including this current run.

With a spotlight squarely on coach Ken Hitchock and his one-year contract, a nagging storyline has been the ice-time of their team’s most dangerous offensive weapon… or lack thereof.

Tarasenko wrapped up his third full season in the league by scoring 40 goals and 74 points in 82 games. Among all forwards in the league, he scored the fourth most goals, was tied for 10th in points yet he was 50th overall in average ice time with 18:38 per contest.

Top 50 Ice Time Per Game: Forwards 2015-16 Regular Season – #40-#50


Hitchcock’s deployment of the Yaroslavl native has been questioned, harangued, sobbed over… by every Tarasenko owner in the fantasy land. Under the right circumstances, this is a player who has the juice to score 50 goals and reach that rare air of 90-plus point scorer. The key here is, under the right circumstances.   

                                                  

So he’s 50th in time on the ice, okay, but there’s no way a player of his talent would be underutilized on the man advantage, right? Right?!

Wrong. Tarasenko sat tied for 70th in average PPTOI during the regular season. Nestled in between offensive dynamos like P.A Parenteau, Radim Vrbata and Tyler Ennis.

Top 50 Power Play Ice Time Per Game: Forwards 2015-16 Regular Season – #60-#75

                                                      

So far this post-season, the 16th overall selection from 2010 is seeing just 2:13 on the man-advantage (49.1 percent of his team’s share) and 17:36 per contest.  Three games into the Western Conference final and Tarasenko sits tied for eighth in playoff scoring with 13 points in 17 games and his seven goals are good for third best. Strong numbers despite him only scoring one goal in the last six games and that was shoved into an empty-net.

To be fair, no one has solved Martin Jones since mid-way through game one – a span of 150:45 and counting.

When all three are healthy, the combination of Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera have found great success the last two seasons. That trio has continued throughout the spring and using Dobber’s Line Production tool, we see that at least one of Lehtera or Schwartz have been on the ice for 11 of Tarasenko’s 13 playoff points.

 Str                                              On Ice Line Combination                                                              Points

PP

BACKES,DAVID – SCHWARTZ,JADEN – STEEN,ALEXANDER – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

4

EV

LEHTERA,JORI – SCHWARTZ,JADEN – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR                                               

4

PP

STASTNY,PAUL – STEEN,ALEXANDER – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

1

EV

BERGLUND,PATRIK – FABBRI,ROBBY – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

1

PP

LEHTERA,JORI – SCHWARTZ,JADEN – STEEN,ALEXANDER – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

1

EV

LEHTERA,JORI – OTT,STEVE – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

1

EV

SCHWARTZ,JADEN – STEEN,ALEXANDER – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

1

Few players can take over a shift or game like Tarasenko and if the Blues want to continue succeeding in this version of the lightening fast NHL, they’ll do all they can to surround him with talent and let him run wild. A healthy Jaden Schwartz who should be joining his 2010 draft mate into their prime years is a great start, but for the world to see what Vladimir Tarasenko is truly capable of, he needs to be lining up next to a premier distributor.

Something the Blues may be realizing as they watch Joe Thornton chuck sauce all over this series.

Projected point-per-game outlook for 2016-17: 0.92 – 1.00

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Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where I mostly retweet other people’s witty comments and occasionally add my own. 

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Other Frozen Pool Forensics:

Logan Couture

David Backes

 

3 responses to “Frozen Pool Forensics: Vladimir Tarasenko”

  1. Mark says:

    If the Blues lose to the Sharks, it’s possible they’ll replace Hitchcock, which should at least let Tarasenko maintain his production. A full season with Schwartz will also make a big difference. So would Backes not re-signing, as that’d free up a fair bit of PP icetime.

    • Cam Robinson says:

      Each of those things would/should make a difference for Tarasenko.. All of them together, coupled with the hiring of an offensively-minded coach, would be massive.

      If Tank could be afforded 19-plus minutes a night and 3-plus on the PP, he could see those mid-70’s numbers get cranked up 10-15 more.

      • Mark says:

        Absolutely. Take off the reins and Tarasenko could be a Top 3 scorer in goals and points.