The Blues received some news on Monday that will strike a big blow to their roster. Vladimir Tarasenko will undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday and will miss at least five months.
Tarasenko exited Thursday night’s game against the Kings with an “upper-body” injury and was later ruled out of the Blues’ two weekend games against the Bruins and Red Wings. The team notes that the forward, who has three goals and 10 points in 10 games this season, will be “re-evaluated” in five months, so perhaps he misses a little more time if the shoulder isn’t totally healed come end of March/early April.
After getting tangled up with Sean Walker of the Kings, Tarasenko grabbed at his left shoulder before returning to the bench. It was the same shoulder that had to be popped back in during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final last June and the one he needed surgery on in April 2018.
“It’s tough,” said Ryan O'Reilly after the Blues’ 5-4 win over Detroit on Sunday. “He’s a huge player for our team. It’s a tough loss and you can see [Sunday], it impacts us. We all have to be better for when we’re missing him.”
Oskar Sundqvist and Robert Thomas filled that hole in the lineup over the weekend, getting opportunities on the Blues’ top line next to Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn. Both played around 14 minutes and did not register a point. Will GM Doug Armstrong go with a collective in-house effort or look to make a move with Tarasenko now on long-term injury reserve?