Vladimir Tarasenko is excited for the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he admits facing one of his closest friends will be tough.

From Hull and Oats set-ups to Edmundson and Fabbri friendship goals, the St. Louis Blues have some dynamic duos. This offseason Ryan Reaves was traded to Pittsburgh, breaking-up the superstar/enforcer bond between him and Tarasenko.

Vladimir reflected on his friendship with Reaves:

“Reaves was a positive guy. He was pretty honest. In Russia, the price is very high for people who are honest to you and he’s always been a great teammate. We started to be friends since day one here, so it was pretty hard to (lose) him.”

While he isn’t exactly sure how it started, Tarasenko explained the pregame ‘spin and bump’ routine (pictured above) would bring more positive emotions out before puck drop.

Their relationship started through mutual friendships with Kevin Shattenkirk, but neither of them are wearing Blues jerseys anymore. Vladimir was also close with Jori Lehtera, who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers this summer—another friend sent to the Metropolitan Division.

“But it’s hockey,” he continued. “Players got traded. We just need to play through; we have a great team now.

Putting emotions aside, Tarasenko is ready to improve his game this season. He wants to grow as a leader and help his team achieve their one goal; a Stanley Cup championship.

Watch the Blues battle the defending cup champions on NBC Sports Network Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.