ST. LOUIS --There have been glimpses early this season of the player Vladimir Tarasenko was expected to be for the St. Louis Blues.
Like the power-play goal he scored late in the first period Tuesday night to give the Blues a 2-1 lead over Buffalo in a game they won 4-1. There was a beautiful quick-strike, top-shelf goal against the Avalanche last week, which was preceded by fast-twitch rebound goals against the Flames, Sharks and Panthers and by sniper shots versus the Rangers and Blackhawks.
Add in Tarasenko's four assists and the 21-year-old Russian right wing has accounted for 11 points in his first 20 games this season.
The numbers are a far cry from those of team leaders Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie. But, for the 2010 first-round NHL Entry Draft pick, they're a start.
"He's still learning about the league," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock says. "He's learning about the level. Now he's playing teams he's never seen before in the East.
"Once he gets warmed up int...