ST. LOUIS — The Tarasenkos will have a new member of the family to help take part in Stanley Cup celebrations this summer if the St. Louis Blues can close out the Boston Bruins in one of the next two games and win the Stanley Cup. On Friday, one day after the Blues took a 3-2 series lead, Yana Tarasenko gave birth to a baby boy.
According to the Blues, the baby, who will be named in the coming days, measured 7.4 pounds and 20.5 inches.
“I don’t have words to describe it,” Vladimir Tarasenko said via the Blues. “Just happiness and love everywhere around there.”
Tarasenko did not skate with his Blues teammates on Saturday morning, but was at the rink for a “maintenance day,” as head coach Craig Berube described it.
While his wife entered the final days of pregnancy, Tarasenko, who has two other boys, has been able to balance his duties on and off the ice as he’s scored three times against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.
“He’s done a great job of it,” said Berube. “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 Vladdy’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.”
“He’s gotta be exhausted. I can’t imagine, for him, what it’s like,” said Ryan O'Reilly. “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.”
As Tarasenko gets some time off to enjoy the new addition to the family, the Blues aren’t worried about whether he’ll be ready for Game 6 Sunday night. Brayden Schenn sees it at maybe a little bit of extra motivation to close the series out.
“He’s going to play hard. He’s a pro,” he said. “He’s been around the game a long time. He knows how to get himself prepared. I don’t think we’re worried about Vlady being ready [Sunday].”
The Conn Smythe Trophy may be awarded Sunday night inside Enterprise Center and defenseman Colton Parayko has a front-runner in mind.
“She’s the real MVP,” he said.
Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final will take place Sunday, 8 p.m. ET on NBC (live stream here)
MORE BLUES – BRUINS COVERAGE:
• Both teams have seen officiating controversies even before Game 5.
• Blues hope to keep emotions in check.
• Cassidy rips officiating
• Missed opportunities haunt Bruins.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.