CHICAGO, Ill. (HockeyStL) -- Anytime you lose a playoff game no one wants to focus on any positives. That's especially true of the Blues at this point since they're now tied with the Blackhawks 2-2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs and on a very all too familiar path from a season ago.
But Vladimir Tarasenko's performance in Game 4 was a positive worth noting.
The former #1 pick tallied two goals, including his second power play goal, giving him an NHL-leading four overall for the 2014 postseason.
How good has he been?
"Exceptional," head coach Ken Hitchcock said bluntly. "He's been an exceptional player every game. Young emerging player. Hopefully he stays with it and helps us a lot. He really is shooting the puck well. He's putting pucks on net. He's not looking to make the second or third play. Everything's coming at the net and he has such a great shot he can pick corners like he did."
"He's playing great," Kevin Shattenkirk said. "He has a lot of energy. He's confident in his shooting and we know he can shoot the puck really well. When he gets time and space he can find the open areas."
Tarasenko seems to have found a comfort zone attacking the net on an offensive rush where he can let his extremely gifted shot fly. Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford had little chance in stopping either of the Blues forward's attempts.
It even got to the point where the crowd started to groan any time Tarasenko touched the puck in transition. It's like they knew what was coming.