Vladimir Tarasenko's English is getting much better.

Reporters have spent the last few months posing their questions to Tarasenko slowly and with easy-to-understand words. Continuing down that road today, the Russian rookie was asked simply about being excited to make his NHL playoff debut in Game 4 against the LA Kings.

"Yeah sure," Tarasenko said, before turning the nonsensical question back on the reporter and saying "No" (he's not excited). Tarasenko smiled and got a big laugh from the media surrounding his stall in the Blues' locker room.

Tarasenko, who was a healthy scratch in the first three games of the Western Conference series, will take the place of Adam Cracknell in the lineup. A right winger normally, Tarasenko will start out on the left wing on the fourth line with Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves.

"I think (Tarasenko) saw the level of intensity, he understands it and he's been a good player," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Until the (concussion), he was a good player. He came back a little tentative from the injury. I think when you have a player who contributes like he does and is strong on the puck, determined as he is, and as big as he is, he is an asset that we can use.

"So for me, just get up to the competitive level. I had a talk with him yesterday. He's excited to play. I think he deserves to play based on his regular season. He can play left or right, and he certainly gives us some options moving forward if the game gets as close as it does."