Oct 3, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Teuvo Teravainen (86) looks to pass as New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) closes in during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks lost in a heartbreaker on New Year’s Day at the Winter Classic. But fans were quickly able to find new things to be excited about. Patrick Kane was named Second Star of December by the NHL. And Friday afternoon the Chicago Blackhawks announced that Teuvo Teravainen was called up from the Rockford IceHogs. That’s right, it’s Teuvo time! Here on 3 quick thoughts on this latest announcement.
Surprise. I have to say I truly didn’t expect this call-up. I thought Teuvo was pretty much slated to be in Rockford all year, and not to get into the Blackhawks line-up until the beginning of next year. The organization seemed to have a mentality that they needed to take it slow with the kid, get him used to the North American game and ease him in. I even had projected lines jotted down that included both Daniel Carcillo and Joakim Nordstrom.
My initial thought was that Kris Versteeg must be hurt pretty badly. We did find out today that Versteeg is expected to be out for a month. My second thought was that Teravainen must be playing really well in order to earn this chance. He has 6 goals and 17 assists, for 23 points with the IceHogs, which is second best on the team. I’m guessing his defensive game has been solid, as that is such an important factor to Coach Q. It was rumored awhile back that Teuvo was frustrated with not playing in the NHL yet. He must have worked through that too, and the coaches must all feel he has the right attitude.
Keep it simple Now Teuvo Teravainen might be the future of the Blackhawks, but I’m sure everyone is telling him to keep it simple, just like they tell every player that gets called up from the AHL. They are stressing that he stick to his game, to not worry about doing anything spectacular. They want to ease him in, and not put too much pressure on him.
This is why I don’t foresee Teuvo playing any higher than on the third or fourth line for quite some time. Today at practice, he centered the fourth line, with Ben Smith on his right, and Carcillo and Nordstrom taking turns on his left. Speaking of which, I vote for Nordstrom. Carcillo only played 3:58 minutes during the last game. What’s the point? Let the two young IceHogs show their stuff!
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Excitement. With all that being said, I’m sure we are all very excited about what Teuvo Teravainen can bring to this already exceptional team. He did spend some time today on the second power play unit in practice. This means he will have an opportunity to play with Patrick Kane and some of the other top 6 forwards. Fellow staff writer Brian Kinkade mentioned in an earlier post a possible line of Teuvo, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about that makes me salivate!
Teravainen is excited too. “It’s good to be back here. It’s been my goal to be here this year and I’ve been working so hard all summer and now in the season and I’m happy to be here,” he said after Saturday’s practice.
Well this is it! We’ll have our first chance to see Teuvo in action during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars. Let’s see what No. 86 can do! Let’s go Hawks!
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