Vladimir Tarasenko played 207 KHL games before finally making the jump to the NHL for the 2013 season. He's been excellent through his first 17 games, but he's still adjusting to the NHL ice surface and its comparative lack of room. On Wednesday night, Mark Olver gave him reason to speed that learning curve up a little, catching him with a massive hit midway through the third period:
And that is how quickly an NHL player can close on you. Huge hit.
I don't think it was a dirty hit by Olver, who was rushing in to take the body and didn't leap or rise up, but just happened to get there at the moment Tarasenko moved the puck down the boards and turned in Olver's direction, exposing his head instead of his side.
Still, it led to a very scary scene for a moment, as cameras caught a staggered Tarasenko bleeding from the mouth, his eyes rolled into the back of his head. It's tough to enjoy a big hit in the NHL when it leads to an image like this:
Thankfully, the Blues' rookie would leave the ice of his own power. Here's hoping he's okay and back on the ice soon enough.
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- Mark Olver
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