Why Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko is leaving the bubble

USA Today

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues announced forward Vladimir Tarasenko would be leaving the NHL's bubble in Edmonton to return to St. Louis for a medical evaluation.

Tarasenko, who had zero points in four postseason games and 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games during the 2019-20 regular season with the Blues, will meet with doctors to have his surgically-repaired shoulder looked at.

"He obviously wasn't comfortable with the way it felt. We've got to get it looked at," Blues Head Coach Craig Berube said. "It's concerning. We don't know a lot yet, so I'm not going to jump to conclusions on anything. He's not feeling right, so that's why he's going to get it looked at. I don't know what to tell you, to be honest. It's concerning, but we've got to wait and see." The 2019 Stanley Cup champ missed one round-robin contest and Games 3 and 4 of the Blues' first-round series with the Vancouver Canucks. Tarasenko originally injured his shoulder on Oct. 24, 2019 vs. the LA Kings and missed 61 games after undergoing surgery. He returned to the lineup for the first time in the Blues' July 29 exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks and played in five contests (including the exhibition) since the NHL returned to play.

"When you get something done like that and you're out nine months, you're going to have some issues when you come back, no matter what, right? But he felt good, he was ready to go," Berube said. "When it gets ramped up in a real game, things change. The intensity level goes way up, the banging and things like that. I'm sure maybe that had something to do with it. I'm not sure, nobody is, even Vladi's not. We'll see what shows up here and we can go from there."

Download MyTeams Today!