The St. Louis Blues won’t be all full strength tonight when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Game One, but Vladimir Tarasenko will be able to make his return from injury. He hasn’t played since March 15. The former first-round draft pick was forced to miss the final month of the regular season following surgery to an injured hand.
He’s good to go tonight though.
Vladimir Tarasenko will play tonight. Hitch said he’s put in a lot of extra work to be ready for Game 1. #WeAllBleedBlue
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 17, 2014
Tarasenko’s return to action couldn’t come at a better time. Though the Blues are in better shape than they were last weekend, several key contributors will be forced to take in Game One from the sidelines—chief among them being T.J. Oshie.
Coming into the postseason on the back of a career year, Tarasenko is slated to play on St. Louis’ second line. Head coach Ken Hitchcock was forced to change things up a bit without Oshie and Patrik Berglund, but the trio of Tarasenko, Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz could pack a vicious punch in the offensive zone.
According to various sources, Tarasenko is in the best shape of his NHL career and will be at 100% this evening.
Hitch says Tarasenko has no limits for tonight. Coach says he is in his best shape. He commends his hard work. #stlblues
— Rene Knott (@reneknottsports) April 17, 2014
Having the possession monster back at 80% would have been good enough, but he seems chomping at the bit and ready to go against the defending Stanley Cup champions.