Mar 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Teuvo Teravainen (86) reaches for the puck against Dallas Stars center Dustin Jeffrey (11) during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
With Teuvo Teravainen set to make his 2014-2015 NHL season debut, on Sunday, his call-up means changes for the arrangement of the Chicago Blackhawks forward corps. What changes, exactly? Well, we don’t know for sure and we don’t know for how long, knowing Coach Q, but we can throw some ideas out there and see what sticks.
Possibility number one:
[table id=104 /]
This is what I consider the most likely. With Tervainen, a center, replacing the injured Kris Versteeg, a winger, this move allows Andrew Shaw to move back to the wing, his natural position. No matter what the combination, it’s likely the top line and 4th lines will remain practically untouched.
The 2nd and 3rd lines will receive the most mixing and matching. Here, Teuvo slides right into the 2nd line center position, with 2 big-time offensive threats, in Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp as his wingers. This line seems to properly utilize Teuvo’s more offensive-minded skill-set.
Possibility number two:
[table id=105 /]
Here, the 2nd line stays practically intact with Brad Richards staying as its center and Kane remaining as its right winger. Teuvo slides onto the 3rd line alonside Shaw and Bryan Bickell. Bickell has a great shot, that when combined with Teravainen’s playmaking ability could be an interesting combination. Centering the 3rd line would be less pressure for Teuvo to get up to NHL speed. However, Bickell isn’t known as a great regular season point-producer and the 3rd line isn’t totally ideal for Teravainen and his skills.
Possibility number three:
[table id=106 /]
Here, we have Bickell replacing Versteeg on the 2nd line and we have Sharp accompanying Teravainen on the 3rd line. Again, the 3rd line doesn’t exactly scream Teuvo, but it makes more sense with a guy like Sharp on it with him.
Possibility number four:
[table id=107 /]
Here, the offensive wealth of the 2 and 3 lines is spread pretty evenly. Teuvo centering the 2nd line with Kane at his wing should be exciting to watch and it could even ignite Bickell and his great wrist shot, which if he can find consistency, would make this 2nd line a very dangerous one. The 3rd line would be a great 2nd line on most teams, with potential top line or 2nd line players like Sharp and Richards alongside Shaw, who is no slouch himself.
[table id=108 /]
Here, we fiddle with the top line a bit and put Sharp on its left wing, which would be a fine fit. The 2nd line would be interesting, as it is essentially recreating the 2nd line of Saad-Shaw-Kane that was so successful during last season’s post-season. Instead of Shaw, it’s the more offensively dangerous, Teravainen, which could make this a very scary line.
As you can see, you can slice it up practically anyway possible and the Hawks still end up with one of the best forward groups in the league. It’s fun and it’ll be interesting to see what will end up happening.