Vladimir Tarasenko is out until April with a dislocated shoulder and that has changed the makeup of the Blues lineup and the feeling in the Tarasenko household has as well. All of a sudden, dad is around an awful lot.
“Obviously they know I'm hurt, but they are pretty excited I'm home,” he said Tuesday. “I never spend this much time during the season. There is some little positives they can be excited for. I just try to spend some time with them, especially with their hockey season going, the older one, and middle one starting skating. That's some pretty emotional moments."
And the key lesson he's giving them?
“I try to coach them how to stay away from injuries,” he said. “You need to find positive ways from this situation. This is one of the positives. You can spend some time with the family, some extra time.”
Tarasenko was injured on Oct. 24, in the game with Los Angeles, and since then the Blues have gone 7-1, losing only at Boston. He's had his surgery and has begun his rehab program on the long road back to playing.
“I feel good,” he said. “Rehab kind of slow, but it's what I can do at that point. Hopefully it can go faster than we predict and everything will be fine. … It's already a couple weeks by, so all the emotions kind of calmed down. It's already happened so I need to focus on the rehab and try to get stronger and get back.
"We have guys that work with me. My few previous injuries, I was lucky enough to come back earlier, so that means they do really good job. I just trust it work and follow the plan, so hopefully it will heal faster and I have a chance to come back."
Tarasenko didn't get into the specifics of his injury, other than to say it's different from the one that came in the final game of the 2017-18 season and led to offseason surgery. And that's one of the reasons, he said, he's not worried about having two surgeries on the same shoulder.
“It's hockey game,” he said. “If you don't want to get injuries, don't play this sport. Sometimes it happens. There's no point to think about it. You can think what you may be not do to stay away from this, but sometimes it's just bad luck and just need to go through this one.
“I don't really worry about how it happened. It's already there. I just battle for a puck and it's just bad luck.”
The Blues haven't been around much since his injury, holding only a few practices, and with the team just back from a 10-day trip, he hasn't had much time with the team.
“Of course there's a frustration of not playing,” he said. “It's hard to watch hockey games and everything. But you know, when team is doing pretty well, guys are winning games, you can show it in the locker room. I'm pretty excited for the team and the way they are doing. Just stay positive, help as much as I can being positive, get some talking with the guys and just being part of the team."
“Vladi's positive all the time in my opinion, on a day-to-day basis, even when he's not injured,” coach Craig Berube said. “He's around. He's had them before and he understands the situation. A lot of work ahead of him. He's just got to take it day by day and not get too far ahead of himself. When he gets back, he gets back.”
Troy Brouwer was back on the ice for the morning skate, wearing his old No. 36. He and Jamie McGinn are in camp on tryouts as the Blues consider adding veterans before they consider calling up kids from San Antonio.
The Blues had an optional morning skate, so the lines are based off yesterday's practice. Robert Bortuzzo was off the ice early and Craig Berube said it would be a game-time decision on whether he's in. He said it would be with someone on the defensive corps, and since Carl Gunnarsson and Vince Dunn were on the ice for the skate, it would point to Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Jay Bouwmeester or Justin Faulk being up in the air. All four of them practiced on Monday. If someone is sick, it doesn't appear to be Pietrangelo, who was walking around inside the dressing room area.
Absent further information on that, these are the lines and defensive pairings the team used Monday.
de la Rose-Bozak-Blais
Coyotes projected lineup:
Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz -- Phil Kessel
Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Conor Garland
Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza
Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Christian Fischer
Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski
Aaron Ness -- Jordan Oesterle
Scratched: Barrett Hayton, Ilya Lyubushkin
Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)