Mar 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
#2 – Time for Other Hawks to Spread Their Wings and Answer the Call!
Kaner led the Blackhawks with 69 points when he got injured, which is a lot of offensive production that will be sorely missed. However as Mayor Rahm Emmanuel once said, don’t let a good crisis go to waste. In other words, one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain, or in this case men. Kane’s absence means more playing time to go around, and with more playing time comes more opportunity for players to ink up the stat sheet and bolster their confidence. In the immediate wake of Kane’s injury, Coach Joel Quenneville indicated that he wanted give to Bryan Bickell more minutes. While Bicks hasn’t been finding the back of the net lately, he’s shown flares of last year’s playoff beast-mode that we need him to regain heading into the post season. Much more noteworthy however, is the play of Kris Versteeg and Andrew Shaw. In the past three games, these two Hawks forwards have a combined 3 goals and 2 assists. Shaw and Versteeg are the type of lower-line forwards whose gameplay makes the difference in the playoffs, hands down. To have both of these players go on a tear and carry over that confidence and production into the post season would be a highly advantageous, and given the types of opponents the Hawks will likely be facing in the playoffs, an absolute must!
Mar 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Teuvo Teravainen (86) reaches for the puck against Dallas Stars center Shawn Horcoff (10) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
#1 – Catch Double T: Teuvo Teravainen
Speaking of other Hawks players spreading their wings, one scenario I feel hasn’t occurred to many Blackhawks fans is had Patrick Kane not gotten injured, would prospect Teuvo Teravainen have made his debut as a Blackhawk this season? That was your brain just getting wrinkled just now…While there were rumbling of Teravainen coming to Chicago once his season was done in Finland this spring, they were just rumors at best, and there didn’t seem to be any rush. However, when Kaner went down, Teravainen’s stock went up and he re-introduced himself to Hawks fans during their win against the Dallas Stars this past Tuesday. As expected, in his first NHL regular season outing, Double T didn’t set the world on fire, but he showed a heck of a lot of promise and more than proved he can hold his own in the big leagues. It’s far too early to quantify Teravainen’s impact on the Blackhawks, but he’s got to feel mighty comforted that the organization has the faith to bring the young Finn to Chi-town (ahead of schedule – let’s be honest here) and expect him to play a large roll right off the bat. We’ll see where Double T takes us, but as a Hawks fan I’m excited for him and salivating at the possibility of Teravainen and Kane playing on the same line heading into the playoffs.
Bottom line, Patrick Kane is missed but the Chicago Blackhawks are a team that’s defined themselves through overcoming adversity over the years, and four years and two Stanley Cups later, they’re better for it. Patrick Kane’s absence is yet another opportunity for the Hawks to dig deep and emerge as an even higher caliber team, and I couldn’t think of a better time than when the post season is right around the corner.
FOR THE DAGGER!