ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko has said he doesn't like the nickname "Tank," so his St. Louis Blues teammates keep looking for something else to tag on the talented Russian rookie.
"We'll find something and we'll let you guys know," joked Blues winger T.J. Oshie.
After Tarasenko broke into the NHL with two highlight-reel goals Saturday in a 6-0 win over Detroit, finding a nickname should be the least of everyone's worries.
Whether it's "Frank" (as in Frank the Tank from the movie "Old School"), the Russian nickname "Vova" or something else, the big thing is the presence of another potentially lethal scoring source.
"Frank was great," Oshie said after watching Tarasenko carve up Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey on both scoring plays. "It's hard to tell how good of a player he is in practice, but you see him go out there and make the plays that he did ... he's the complete package."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has his own name for Tarasenko, who had 31 points in 31 games for St. Petersburg in the Russian KHL league during the lockout.
"He's a finisher," said Hitchcock, whose team returns to the ice for a 5 p.m. game Monday in Nashville. "The thing that impresses me about him is he's a really good kid."
Hitchcock's master plan included placing Tarasenko -- the son of former Russian hockey standout and KHL coach Andrei Tarasenko --on a line with veteran forwards Alex Steen and Andy McDonald.
"He's a really good kid and he just wants to be a part of this team," Hitchcock said. "He wants to please the veteran players and I think playing him with Andy and Steener is a good fit because they're going to nurture him, you know.
"It's nice to see a young guy finish like that."
The positive debut saw the Blues explode for six goals against their hated Central Division rivals, the Red Wings.
The Blues were 4-for-5 on the power play, killed off all four Detroit power-plays and played tight enough defense to limit goaltender Jaroslav Halak to only a handful of difficult saves.
"They were better than us from start to finish," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told The Associated Press. "They were quicker, more competitive around the puck. We gave them goals. I can think of four goals that were just gifts."
Blues players outhit the Wings 25-12 led by captain David Backes, who rang up seven of them.
"When you bring back most of the same guys from last year there's going to be good chemistry, and you could see it out there," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said.
One of the next examples of that was a play by Pietrangelo and Oshie that led to a goal.
With the Blues killing off a penalty, Pietrangelo was in his own zone and appeared ready to slam the puck the length of the ice. Instead, he fired it right onto the stick of Oshie and Oshie skated in alone to finish off a short-handed breakaway.
"It was the definition of a National League pass," Oshie said. "It was a great heads up play by him."
Blues winger Chris Stewart also scored a pair of goals, a big start for him after he scored only 15 a year ago. Stewart was happy, but stressed the importance of putting the opening-night show quickly out of mind with the season reduced to 48 games.
"In such a short season you've got use everything to get better," Stewart said. "You can't dwell on beating a team 6-0 because we've got Nashville on Monday and Chicago on Tuesday."