ST. LOUIS (AP) — Slava Fetisov called Vladimir Tarasenko midway through the second round of the playoffs to deliver an important message.
“I said, ‘Listen, you’ve got a good chance to win this year, so you’re gonna play 100 percent, maybe a little more,'” Fetisov recalled Friday. “‘You get all your talents and your skill and you can win the Cup. And sometimes you think it’s gonna be tomorrow in that opportunity but it’s not.'”
Fetisov would know. He didn’t defect from the Soviet Union until midway through his career, and it took until age 39 for him to lift the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997.
More than two decades since Fetisov and the “Russian Five” shattered the myth that NHL teams couldn’t win with players from a nation unpopular in North America, the St. Louis Blues’ Russian Two of Vladimir Tarasenko and Ivan Barbashev is one victory away from lifting the same Cup after being inspired by the generation of countrymen who endured so much to get there.
“They give us reasons to dream about it and maybe one day we can do the same thing,” Tarasenko said.
How Fetisov, Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov reached hockey’s…