Birthday Boy Tkachuk
Pushes the Blues to Victory
Keith Tkachuk had not scored in quite a long time – 13 games to be specific. It’s only fitting that he snapped his scoring drought to give the Blues a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on his birthday. The 38-year-old Tkachuk showed he still has a bit of scoring life left in the tank following the bulk of this season where he has really dropped off from his 2008-09 totals.
This season hasn’t been an easy one for Walt with a couple layoffs from injuries really putting a damper on his season. Tkachuk had never lost a tooth in all his years in the NHL prior to this season in which a shot from T.J. Oshie caught him right in the mouth, knocking out numerous teeth. Walt also has had issues with his hand, his finger in particular and needed surgery to repair his pinkie finger. As far as injuries go, it seems as if something has plagued the big forward all year long.
Last season, Walt tallied 25 goals and 24 assists for a total of 49 points, a total that earned the forward a one-year deal with the Blues. A healthy Tkachuk might have approached similar totals this season, but the entire team has struggled to light the lamp (as we all know) all season long, so it is tough to really put much blame on Walt. Tkachuk has just 13 goals this season complemented by 17 assists for a total of 30 points.
Whether or not this is Tkachuk’s last season is really yet to be determined. He was a name frequently tossed around near the trading deadline, but Tkachuk made it clear he wanted to stay and make things easy on his family. With this in mind, it’s hard to imagine the odds of Tkachuk skating next season being any better than 50-50. His hometown is Boston, so I can’t rule that one out, but a move to some where like Vancouver seems to be totally out of the picture.
Is retirement an option? After an injury plagued year, it certainly seems a possibility. I am making certain to tune in and focus on Walt these last few games as they could be the last we see of the power forward who has been around the NHL since the 1991-92 season.