4. Teravainen playing better. Let’s face it, Teuvo Teravainen hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations this year. At the beginning of the season, it was generally assumed that TT would be among the top six forwards. But whenever he does play with the top two lines, he looks tentative and out of place.
So for most of the season, Teravainen’s role has been to play on the third line. He also has become an important member of both the power play and the penalty kill. Needless to say, he has looked good these past three tilts. TT tallied a power play goal late in the third period of the Toronto game. He also picked up two assists against the Rangers, one being on Andrew Desjardin’s goal, and the other on Andrew Shaw’s power play goal.
Perhaps this will give TT some confidence going forward. His offensive and defensive capabilities make him an obvious candidate for that top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. But if that doesn’t pan out, his presence and skill on the third line adds an offensive threat, and depth to the lineup. Either way, I think Teravainen’s success goes hand in hand with the Chicago Blackhawks success.
3. Power Play is on Fire. Well at least it was until that thing we have to call a game yesterday. Can we just stop talking about it? Anyway, the Chicago Blackhawks tallied seven power plays goals in their games against the Maple Leafs and the Rangers. They scored four times out of seven chances against Toronto, and three out of four times versus New York.
And it wasn’t just your usual suspects of Kane and Toews. Power play goals were scored by Shaw, Brent Seabrook, Panarin, and Teravainen in the first game. Then in the second game, Panarin scored twice on the man advantage, and Shaw picked up the other one. Hopefully the Hawks can pick up where they left off in this department when they face the Nashville Predators this coming Thursday.
2. The Underdog of the week. Perhaps I should just have a permanent takeaway designated to this, because I certainly do have a penchant for talking about the little guy. This week’s underdog is Andrew Desjardins. Desi’s ice time was 15:38 in the Leafs game, 17:36 in the Rangers game, and 17:50 in the Wild game. Now I don’t always pay attention to what players average in time on ice, but this seems like some pretty big minutes for a third liner.
With Marian Hossa out, Desjardins has been asked to take on more responsibility on the penalty kill. His minutes were 3:46, 1:22, and 6:27! respectively, playing short-handed these past three tilts.
There was that goal Desjardins scored to get the Hawks on the board in the Rangers game. In the Minnesota match up, I noticed that Desi stood out a number of times. As I already mentioned, he was very busy killing off penalties. He was personally responsible for a number of clears, and his hustle actually led to a short-handed chance.
It’s obvious that Coach Q trusts Desjardins for his defensive responsibility, and he’s happy when he sees some offensive production as well. Desi has earned that trust, and is quietly doing what he can to help the Hawks win.
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