Chicago Blackhawks Finally Ready For ‘Teuvo Time’

Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen (86) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen (86) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Flashback to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning and the subject of Teuvo Teravainen. He had been in and out of the Blackhawks playoff lineup for most of the first round against the Predators. A rotation of Bryan Bickell, Kris Versteeg, and Teravainen had been working into the Blackhawks third-line combinations.

It wouldn’t be until scoring the game-winner in Game One of the second-round series against the Wild that the full ‘Teuvo Time’ mentality among Blackhawks fans would begin to grow. Over the next three games against the Wild, the series against the Ducks, and the Final against the Lightning, Teravainen would show the potential he had to become one of the next viable pieces of the Blackhawks core.

Now fast-forward to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday and there was still the idea swirling around that Teravainen may be still part of a last-ditch Blackhawks blockbuster trade. When the clock struck 2 p.m. local time and the trade deadline passed, Teravainen was still a Blackhawk. Much to the delight of many Chicago fans, as his recent play and recent vote of approval from head coach Joel Quenneville shows that his time, ‘Teuvo Time,’ has finally arrived in the Windy City.

Teravainen earning his time

Heading into the month of February, Teravainen had tallied 22 points through 49 games while averaging just about 15:10 minutes of ice-time per game. His highest point total in a month was during December when he tallied up 10 points in 15 games. December was also his highest month for ice-time, averaging about 15:30 per game. It started to show that Teravainen was realizing that talent that so many people had said he possess.

January hit and Teravainen cooled in his production. Over the 14 games in the month, Teravainen only recorded three points while averaging just under 16 minutes of ice-time per game. All of this while playing primarily as a third or fourth line wing. Into February, the trade rumors began to swirl and Teravainen began to, uncomfortably for most, be mentioned as a possible bargaining piece in potential Blackhawks trades.

Teams looking to sell off pieces to get drafts picks, prospects, and young talent were all mentioning Teravainen as an interesting piece when talking with the Blackhawks about potential moves. But, with injuries and a few pre-NHL trade deadline moves, the Blackhawks were put into a position to play Teravainen as a center, his original position when coming into the NHL, and he began to flourish once again.

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The impact of his improved play, while not showing up much on the stat-sheet, showed in the amount of time and in which situations, Teravainen was playing. Quenneville has used the 21-year old in both power-play and penalty-killing situations for the Blackhawks special teams. All the while, Teravainen has averaged his highest amount of ice-time per game in the month of February with nearly 16:18 minutes of time-on-ice per contest.

Following the conclusion of the NHL trade deadline on Monday, the Blackhawks had acquired a few new Forwards they potentially will pair alongside Teravainen, figuring he doesn’t get moved from the center position, which it wouldn’t make sense to do at this point after the way he has played this past month. Teravainen figures to center new Chicago residents Dale Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann, who the Blackhawks acquired from the Montreal Canadians. Both Wiese (6-2, 206lb) and Fleischmann(6-1, 195lb) provide size alongside Teravainen (5-11, 175lb), while giving him more skill to play with than he

has had on a regular basis this season. Teravainen has played the majority of the season alongside the likes of Richard Panik, Andrew Desjardins, Dennis Rasmussen, and Andrew Shaw. While not he worst group of players ever complied, they are not the kind of grouping that allows Teravainen to excel.

More to prove?

There is just a month and change left in the season, and Teravainen sits at 26 total points through 60 games. I am willing to bet that by season’s end, barring any injuries (knocking on all the wood around me), that Teravainen will eclipse the 35 point mark and could potentially hit 40 points if his time on the Blackhawks power-play unit continues to be as prominent as it has been over the last 10 games. If he hits those marks, shows continued improvement, and puts together another solid playoff showing, the Blackhawks will have next to no choice but to place ‘Teuvo Time’ into the core of the growing Chicago dynasty.

What do you think? Are you ready to embrace ‘Teuvo Time’ with the Blackhawks or is there more for the Finnish playmaker to prove? Let us know in the comment section below.