Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko to miss at least five months after shoulder surgery

The St. Louis Blues' title defense just got a lot more challenging, at least for the next five months. The team announced Monday afternoon that star forward Vladimir Tarasenko will miss a minimum of five months once he undergoes shoulder surgery later this week.

Tarasenko injured his left shoulder during a game against the Los Angeles Kings last Thursday. The Blues forward was involved in an awkward collision with Kings defenseman Sean Walker during a partial break. Though it didn't look particularly violent or unsightly, Tarasenko clearly was in some discomfort after the sequence. He left the game and did not return.

Tarasenko, 27, was out of the lineup for the Blues' back-to-back weekend matchups in Boston and Detroit as his shoulder was evaluated back in St. Louis. Ultimately, it was determined that the issue, which is still only specified as an "upper-body injury," would require surgery. 

The Blues forward is set to undergo the procedure on Tuesday and will be re-evaluated in five months. In the meantime, he'll be placed on long-term injured reserve.

It's a huge loss for the Blues, who will be forced to push forward without one of their top playmakers and scorers up front. Tarasenko came into this year having scored at least 30 goals in each of his past five seasons, scoring a total of 185 goals since 2015. Only two players in the entire NHL have scored more goals over that time -- Alexander Ovechkin (245) and John Tavares (186). 

Tarasenko had been averaging a point per game through 10 games this season, scoring three goals and adding seven assists. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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