The 2016-17 season was one filled with ups and downs for the St. Louis Blues. From some of the highest of highs (Winter Classic victory, resurgence under Mike Yeo and first round series win over Minnesota), the Blues also experienced some of the lowest lows (stumbling with Hitchcock, Kevin Shattenkirk trade and a playoff exit to Nashville) a team can face over the course of one year.
The idea that the strenuous, emotional year took a toll on many players was confirmed by Vladimir Tarasenko.
“It was honestly the hardest season in my career. We have a lot of emotional stuff going on through the season, a lot of ups and downs. We have a lot of good lessons and bad lessons. The year was a little bit different because we don’t have much expectations. It didn’t seem like much people believed in us when we go in the first round. We will be frustrated for a long time, but we need to move forward.”
The spectacle that was the Winter Classic felt like similar to a playoff game and likely made the year feel much longer for the Blues. Adding in the coaching changes and the major Shattenkirk trade, it’s not very surprising to hear the year was emotional for Tarasenko.
In usual Tarasenko fashion, he turned the spotlight off of himself and back on the fans.
“But I’d like to thank all Blues fans for their support during the year. It was amazing. It really helped us when it was tough times and it made us even better with winning streaks and all this stuff. I think nobody (is) happy with the result and we have time to think about it. We need to reload and be ready for next season. Now we have a summer and we can come after the summer in the same way and we need everyone to compete harder, be ready for more.”
How can you not love this guy?