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Tarasenko Joins Blues at Informal Skate

Blues' forward arrived from Russia on Thursday evening; skated on Friday

Friday, 01.11.2013 / 12:24 PM / St Louis Blues - News
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
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Tarasenko Joins Blues at Informal Skate
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko joined the team for an informal skate at the Ice Zone at the St. Louis Outlet Mall on Friday.


HAZELWOOD, MO - Vladimir Tarasenko has arrived.

The Blues’ forward landed at Lambert International Airport just before 6 p.m. on Thursday night and was on the ice with his teammates for Friday’s informal skate at the Ice Zone at the St. Louis Outlet Mall (formerly St. Louis Mills).

Tarasenko is the last of the Blues’ players to arrive in St. Louis in anticipation of the 2012-13 season, which is expected to begin later this month. The team has been holding informal skates daily at the Ice Zone in preparation for Training Camp.

“It’s a precamp skate, so it’s very different from what camp will be and what games will be. But from what I pick up, (Tarasenko) is very intelligent,” said Alex Steen. “He doesn’t seem shy to talk and that’s very important. He’s a very good hockey player.”

Fans turned out in droves for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Blues’ 2010 first-round draft pick (16th overall), who according to Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, will likely start camp on a line with Andy McDonald and Steen.

“I watched those guys. They skated out here as a group and the two or three times they skated together, they looked terrific,” Hitchcock told reporters back in October. “And both Alex and Andy had really embraced Vladi, and the whole team embraced Vladi…we really feel confident that it would be a good combination to start and go with.”

“I think he’s a pretty complete player,” added McDonald after skating with Tarasenko on Friday. “His awareness, his ability to get the puck, he’s got a great shot…just the awareness thing is a huge factor. Call it awareness or call it hockey sense, but your ability to read the play, where your teammates are around you, where the defenders are…players like that make it easy to play with.”

Tarasenko, who signed his first professional contract in June, was originally introduced to St. Louis in September. In 31 KHL games this season, the 21-year-old forward has 14 goals and 17 assists (31 points). He also boasts a plus/minus rating of plus-16.

He will wear No. 91.

“He doesn’t miss the net, the puck is on the net, he comes fast, the puck is on his stick and it’s gone…he’s a good offensive player," Hitchcock said. "The rest of the game, we’re going to teach him, and that’s going to be long-term, but if he can do the things offensively that we think he’s capable of, then he’s going to contribute to our hockey club and help us a lot.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 63 31 30 27 61
A. Steen 61 19 32 6 51
J. Schwartz 56 20 27 13 47
T. Oshie 55 17 27 11 44
D. Backes 62 21 22 4 43
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 55 12 25 11 37
J. Lehtera 56 9 24 13 33
A. Pietrangelo 63 6 27 -2 33
P. Berglund 59 8 12 -2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 20 9 2 .921 2.20
J. Allen 17 6 3 .903 2.55

 
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