The St. Louis Blues have suffered their second major injury setback of the young season, as they placed star rookie Vladimir Tarasenko on injured reserve on Friday after he suffered an apparent head injury in Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. The team has disclosed little information, but it’s easily assumed that the Russian forward has a concussion. The Blues already saw February get off to a rough start with an injury to top goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Tarasenko got off to a great start to the season with two goals in his first NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings. He finished January with five goals and nine points in seven games, but has cooled considerably since then. His last goal came Feb. 13 against the Red Wings, yet he still ranks fourth on the team in scoring with six goals and 12 points. Tarasenko was a 2010 first round pick by the Blues and had 14 goals and 32 points for St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL before heading to North America once the lockout ended. The Blues will miss his speed up front and have recalled Chris Porter from the AHL Peoria Rivermen to fill his roster spot. Porter has seven goals and 10 points in 12 games for the Rivermen this season after he was waived by the Blues and sent down to the AHL. In 98 career NHL games (all with St. Louis), he has eight goals and 16 points.
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Blues, who have lost their last two games including a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss to the Avalanche in Halak’s return. They sit third in the Central Division with a 9-6-2 record and face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.