The St. Louis Blues and their players are staring down at what is unquestionably the biggest game of in the history of the Blues organization, and in the case of the players the biggest game they will likely play during their National Hockey League careers. The Blues will face off against the Boston Bruins on Sunday night for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and for the Blues it will be a chance to drive the dagger home into the heart of the Bruins, and in the process win the first ever Stanley Cup Championship in the history of the organization.
There is little doubt in my mind that currently the players on the St. Louis Blues roster are experiencing some of the most nerve racking and stressful days of their lives, but the intensity of that pressure has been ramped up even more for one player in particular. As if he did not have enough on his plate at the moment, St. Louis Blues star forward Vladimir Tarasenko has been hit with what will likely be the toughest challenge of his young life this far right before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
According to a report from St. Louis Blues reporter Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Tarasenko and his wife welcomed a brand new baby into the world on Friday. Of course this is a monumental moment in the life of any loving couple but for it to happen just 2 days before you have a shot at the Stanley Cup is insane. In fact for this very reason there were many asking questions about the baby's name, including question like would the baby be named "Stanley" or "Stanislav." That would be pretty amazing, but given the superstitious nature often found among hockey players I doubt Tarasenk would risk jinxing a possible Blues win with the name of his child.
Although this is obviously a great moment in the life of Tarasenko you really do have to wonder how it might impact him heading into Game 6. I have no doubt that he has an excellent support structure around him, but having a newborn baby in the home while you are preparing to play championship hockey is no easy task no matter who you might be or who you night have helping you.
Tarasenko is always a player you want to keep your eyes on no matter the circumstances, but it will be especially interesting to see if the new baby takes any kind of toll on him in Game 6.
Photo Credit: Eric Canha/CSM/Zuma