Posted on May 7, 2013 at 4:42 PM
Thursday, Dec 5 at 1:34 AM
(KMOV) -- I have to admit, I thought inserting Vladimir Tarasenko into the Blues lineup for game 4 against the Kings made sense. The Blues needed offense, and Tarasenko was the one scoring weapon they hadn't used. It turned out to be a bad idea.
Tarasenko saw limited ice time, only 5:51, and had no shots on goal and no hits, and wasn't used on the power play or in shorthanded situations. He barely played at all over the final two periods.
Nothing against Tarasenko. He hasn't played much lately and was no doubt rusty. He has a promising future ahead of him. But when Ken Hitchcock decided to play Tarasenko it meant that Adam Cracknell took a seat in the press box.
The fourth line of Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves had been one of the best performing lines in the first three games of the series. The break-up of that energetic defense first CPR line proved costly as the Kings came from two goals down to even the series.
Tarasenko scored two goals against the Kings in a game in March, but didn't score another goal the rest of the season. Hitchcock was hoping the young Russian would provide a spark. Instead, the move backfired badly. It'll be interesting to see if Tarasenko is back in the lineup for game 5.
The guess here is that he won't be, that Hitchcock will re-unite Cracknell with Porter and Reaves, and hope the CPR line pumps new life into a team that needs it after a disappointing loss.