This Stanley Cup Final run will have an extra special meaning for Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko.
The winger’s wife, Yana, gave birth to the couple’s third son Friday, one day after the Blues defeated the Bruins in Game 5 of the series.
“She’s the real MVP,” defenseman Colton Parayko said of Yana Tarasenko, via ESPN. “We’re on the road, and it happens on the day we get back. I think we landed and (Tarasenko) went straight to the (hospital).”
It was late Thursday night when the team flew back from Boston. The very next day, Yana posted a photo of her husband holding their third son.
As for Tarasenko’s availability for Game 6 on Sunday, the 27-year-old is expected to be on the ice, even though he took what’s called a “maintenance day” to be with his family on Saturday.
“Yeah, he’s gotta be exhausted. I can’t imagine, for him, what it’s like,” center Ryan O’Reilly said. “But it’s amazing. It’s one of the greatest things in the world, to be a parent, and especially at this time going through all that, the emotions he must have are amazing. Everyone here is so happy for him.”
Blues coach Craig Berube added he was impressed on how focused Tarasenko was, despite his wife being in labor halfway across the country.
“Yeah, he’s done a great job of it,” he said. “It’s not easy, and he’s not the only player who’s gone through it. It’s hard. Obviously, family is important and first, and you gotta make sure that’s all in check. But Vladi’s been great. He’s been doing a great job of (focusing), and when the game time comes, he’s played hard and played well.”
Tarasenko has scored 16 (points, 11 goals, five assists) in the postseason, including two game-winning goals. In this series against Boston, he has three goals.