Coaching. The biggest thing that stands out to me here is the vote of confidence that was recently given to Teravainen. He was definitely trade bait, but the Hawks didn’t deal him away. Instead, TT was finally put at his natural center position, and it sounds like Bowman actually went out and got some new players specifically to play with him (Fleischmann and Dale Weise). The third line looks to be Teravainen’s line, tailored just for him, and playing into his strengths.
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Teravainen has become the utility man, playing on almost every line and in every position. This has been good for him; it has made him a better and more versatile player. And now the coaching staff has finally rewarded him, and given him an excellent chance to excel (at just the right time, I might add). I’m telling you; we might not always see it, but there really is a method to the madness.
Intangibles. February was a tough month for the Chicago Blackhawks. I fear the light schedule actually worked against them. They never got into any kind of a groove. And the Stadium series was nothing but a distraction from the task at hand (getting into the playoffs). The Hawks have been in four outdoor games. They’ve been there and done that. They just couldn’t generate the necessary excitement. The Minnesota Wild, on the other hand, was hosting their first outdoor game. It definitely meant more to them, and it showed.
Moving forward, the team has more to get motivated about. There are more games in March (13 to be exact), and there will be more on the line. I think the Hawks will make a strong final push as the regular season nears its end.
Wouldn’t you know it! The Dallas Stars took things to overtime last night, so they gained another point to tie the Hawks. Both teams currently sit at 83 points. And the St. Louis Blues aren’t far behind, at 81 points. This is the time of year where every point counts.
Finally, let’s not forget that the Chicago Blackhawks have acquired four new players in Andrew Ladd, Fleischmann, Weise, and Ehrhoff. All of these guys look to be pieces to the championship puzzle. It’s going to be a fun ride, folks! Hop on!
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