ST. LOUIS — It was about what you'd expect to hear from this Blues team a day after it was announced they'd be without their best player for the rest of the regular season.
While they're no doubt going to miss Vladimir Tarasenko, these Blues are ready to step up.
"Any time you lose a good player you have to have other people that are just going to step in and do the job," head coach Craig Berube said. "It's just a team thing. It's not one individual. It's about everybody just doing their job."
"Obviously we're a much better team with him in the lineup. He's one of those guys that other teams look at and they're scared," Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly said. "They know if he gets an opportunity he's going to bury it and he's just always creating and doing something. So it's a tough loss but we all have to rally here. We'll have to communicate more and find a way to be better and get through it."
As for who might be sliding into Tarasenko's spot on the first line, that still appears to be a fluid situation.
"For now. It's going to take some time to see who has chemistry there and who works," Berube said. "So it could be just moving guys around for a while."
"Whether it's Robert Thomas, whether it's Fabbri, whether it's Sanford... I thought Blais came in and grabbed a job and pushed people out of the way," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "You love to see guys come in and assume a position and fight the internal competition off and separate themselves. Sammy did that in training camp. He put himself a letter grade ahead of the guys you're asking about. And now the opportunity has arisen for these guys to come back in and fight and get that ice time."
The players are ready to prove they can fill the void of Tarasenko, while not focusing on trying to replicate everything the Blues star can do.
"There's not many people with a shot like his. So for us we just have to stick with what's working for us and stick to our game," O'Reilly said. "You can't try to do something you're not used to."
Robert Thomas, who got the first line start in Detroit, knows this could also be a big chance for him to break out in a big way.
"It's a good test for me to see where I'm at and a good opportunity for me to show what I can do," Thomas said.
"Vladimir Tarasenko's a special player. He's a great goal scorer," Berube said. "You can't just go make somebody a great goal scorer. Like I said it's a team thing and we all have to keep doing our jobs and it'll take care of itself."
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