The St. Louis Blues got some bad news about Vladimir Tarasenko on Sunday, with the lingering question being: “How bad?”
The team announced that Tarasenko will be re-evaluated in 10 days after suffering an upper-body injury during Thursday’s 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings.
It’s possible that Tarasenko suffered the injury here, which would indicate that he might have hurt his right arm. Perhaps the Blues are waiting for the swelling to go down before checking in again on Tarasenko in 10 days?
Tarasenko already missed Saturday’s game for the Blues, which was a 3-2 overtime loss against the San Jose Sharks. They’ll play their next game at home, but then the Blues must deal with a three-game road trip, so this isn’t the easiest time to lose Tarasenko — not that there’s ever really a great time to be without “Tank.”
On the bright side, the Blues are fairly comfortably placed in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (see The Push for the Playoffs), with the biggest threat here being that maybe St. Louis would slip from the Central’s third spot to a wild-card seed if they really struggle without Tarasenko.
Over 66 games, Tarasenko’s scored 28 goals and 58 points. He’s been especially effective lately, generating an impressive 26 points in 18 games since the Blues returned from the All-Star break. To state the obvious, the Blues would really like to get Tarasenko back by the postseason, preferably getting a few games in before the first round begins.
So far, the Blues have been going with a top line of Ryan O'Reilly, Brayden Schenn, and Jaden Schwartz in Tarasenko’s absence. That’s not a bad combo, but either way, the Blues are hoping for better news in about a week-and-a-half.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.