Before the NHL lockout went into effect with no end in sight, many St. Louis Blues fans speculated about how Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock would use sensational Russian rookie forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
Many thought that Hitchcock would ease the rookie into the mix, likely playing him on the third or fourth line while the forward adjusts to his defensive minded system.
But Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this week that he had planned to throw Tarasenko right into the fire, pairing him with a couple of the Blues top forwards.
"Our plan was to play one line together all the time and see where it gets and that was McDonald, Steen and Tarasenko. That was our plan. The rest we were going to experiment with. We were going to keep twosomes together. We were going to keep Backes and Oshie together, Berglund and Perron together, we knew that worked. But that’s the one line, we met with all three players and we said this is the line that’s going to stay t...