Aug 21, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT
When Vladimir Tarasenko arrived on the scene last year from Russia, he came in with a lot of mystery.
A lot of familiar questions were raised: Would he adapt well to the North American game? Would he struggle with in a defensive system like the Blues have? Go ahead and insert any tired cliché about Russians.
It wasn’t all fun and games, however. His production slowed down and then he suffered a concussion in mid-February that kept him out of action for a month. After that, his production slowed even more and his minutes were cut down. As it was, Tarasenko played in just one game in the playoffs.
As Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, Ken Hitchcock thinks he could be in for a big season because he’ll be more comfortable this time around.
”He’s not going to be surprised by anything, he’s going to be way more ready, so I think our hope is that you see a player more comfortable, more composed, more assured of himself and I think this year we’ll get a really good evaluation. In talking to him, he’s about as far away as you can get from sophomore jinx. He’s hungry, he’s focused. Now you get to see his natural ability on a daily basis.”
The Blues will need him to be all that and then some. Hitchcock notes they were comfortable dealing David Perron because they wanted to make room, and get more minutes, for Tarasenko.
The team is doing what it can to help him break out and if he can do it, he can give them something they’ve lacked over the years: A bonafide gamebreaking scorer. If he can’t take that step, however, the Blues will have to hope their grinding style can lead them to the promised land.
Mar 14, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT
Yep, another Penguins-Flyers series is a possibility.
Mar 14, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
All the latest from the blue paint…
Mar 14, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
Lots going on here.
Mar 14, 2014, 2:12 PM EDT
The 30-year-old suffered an ankle injury during the Olympics
Mar 14, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT
IOC finds “no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance by taking a prohibited substance.”
Mar 14, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT
Ex-NHL netminder dishes on the latest from around the league.
Mar 14, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT
His second in the last 12 months.
Mar 14, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
Is New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer headed for another big disappointment?
Mar 14, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT
Yet another tough blow for Vancouver.
Mar 14, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT
21-year-old Johan Sundstrom is set to make his NHL debut vs. San Jose.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
Tuukka at the top.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT
Looks like no Horcoff, Eakin or Lehtonen in a key battle for playoff positioning.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT
Back-to-back games for Pittsburgh and Philly.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT
They surprised a lot of people by giving up a second round pick to acquire him from Calgary.
Mar 14, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
The severity of his injury isn’t known yet.
Mar 14, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT
Friday’s collection of links.
Mar 14, 2014, 1:31 AM EDT
Quite the position the goalie found himself in.
Mar 14, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT
St. Louis overpowered Edmonton in the third period.
Mar 13, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
Mar 13, 2014, 11:16 PM EDT
But Buffalo still loses.
- TGIF: In which we salivate over potential playoff matchups 0
- Backstrom to receive silver medal, IOC says Sweden doctor ‘made a serious error’ 20
- Pens lose Neal to concussion 32
- Here are the top 10 and bottom 10 goalies in even-strength save percentage 16
- Weekend preview: Flyers-Pens rivalry renewed, Bruins look to stay hot 10
- Video: Stamkos scores first goal since returning to Lightning lineup 4
- Sedin backs Tortorella and staff: ‘We love playing for these coaches’ 25
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider 98
- Callahan: I wanted to stay in New York 38
- Playoff bubble watch — Wild edition 18
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider (98)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (73)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (62)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)