Daniil Tarasov has finally arrived for the Columbus Blue Jackets

Since February 21st, Daniil Tarasov has been one of the hottest goaltenders in the entire NHL. He's making a case for himself to be the starting goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets next season.
Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets
Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

After the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Monday night, Daniil Tarasov quietly spoke to the media. "I'm just trying to play simple, like I usually do".

It's hard to tell from that interview, but Tarasov had just made 45 saves against one of the NHL's most elite teams.

He absolutely stole the show last night. The Colorado Avalanche came out flying, peppering him with a barrage of shots early on. He stopped the first 34 shots he faced, with the only goal coming off of a crazy deflection part-way through the third period.

Tarasov's calm, collected, modest comments are refreshing for a fanbase that has seen its goaltending struggle hard throughout their entire rebuild. It's a reflection of a guy who has found his game, finally becoming a difference maker in the NHL.

In his current run of success, it seems like the game has slowed down for him. He looks like he's bored on the ice, just casually making save after save, regardless the danger level. That's one of the best compliments I can think of for a goaltender.

There's no jumping into the rafters after a win. No letdown after a goal against. No frustration. Just doing his job quietly, consistently making saves.

Since February 21st, Tarasov is 5-5-1 in 11 starts, with a .936 save percentage and 2.54 GAA. He also stopped all 19 shots faced after coming on in relief in Montreal.

In games where Tarasov doesn't start over that same span, the team is 3-6-1. They average 3.56 goals against in those games.

It seems like we've been waiting forever for him to break out, and we may finally be seeing that take place.

Hopefully, he can stay healthy for this team moving forward. If he can do that and string together 40-50 starts of this quality; this team's rebuild will be over before we know it.

Having trust in their goaltender is breeding confidence into this young team. They're just playing better hockey in front of #40 right now.