Vladimir Tarasenko Out for St. Louis Blues’ Saturday Matchup with Minnesota Wild


The St. Louis Blues, who have trudged on this season with a severely decimated forward corps that has already lost Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz, and Patrik Berglund, will have to deal with yet another challenge on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. Forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who leads the club with 10 points (six goals and four assists) over 10 games, will miss Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury that was sustained on a hit from the Anaheim Ducks’ Shawn Horcoff in the second period of Thursday’s game. Tarasenko returned to that game and played throughout the third period, but obviously he still isn’t feeling quite right. The 23-year-old missed yesterday’s practice–a rarity for Tarasenko, who’s about as hard-working as players come–and he was not on the ice for Saturday’s morning skate.

Tarasenko’s absence very well may be wholly precautionary, especially considering tonight’s opponent. In recent seasons, Blues players such as T.J. Oshie, Carl Gunnarsson, Jori Lehtera, and Robby Fabbri have sustained injuries at the hands of the Wild, so with the Blues’ best player at less than 100 percent, they may not want to take any chances against such an aggressive team tonight. According to NHL.com’s Lou Korac, Tarasenko was laughing and joking around with fellow injured teammate Patrik Berglund on the bench at Saturday’s skate, and when he exited he had no noticeable limp in his step.

With Tarasenko out, Ty Rattie will be in the lineup for the third time in four games since being recalled from AHL Chicago, and he’s expected to play on a modified fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Ryan Reaves. Steve Ott will move up from the fourth line into the top nine, and Troy Brouwer will take Tarasenko’s spot on the top line with Jori Lehtera and Alexander Steen.

Next: Blues Look to Keep Winning Streak Going Against Division Foe Wild

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