Blackhawks’ Teuvo Teravainen OK After Missing Morning Skate
After an offensively successful Game 6 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the St. Louis Blues, the Chicago Blackhawks were unlikely to make any lineup changes. However, there was a difference on today’s morning skate lines from the group that won a critical Game 6 on Saturday.
Teuvo Teravainen did not participate in the morning skate, with Tomas Fleischmann taking his place on the second-line right wing alongside Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Teuvo was the victim of a rogue hit from the Blues’ Robert Bortuzzo after Andrew Shaw‘s powerplay goal late in Saturday’s game. Teuvo was nearly able to sidestep the attempted headhunting but couldn’t totally get out of the way, which may be the reason he wasn’t at today’s morning skate.
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom for Teuvo and the Blackhawks. Far from it actually, as Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate that Teuvo will be fine for tonight’s Game 7 against the Blues.
Bortuzzo wound up making knee-to-knee contact with Teuvo on his attempted headhunting, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Teuvo’s knee was a little sore. But knowing he’s in keeps the Blackhawks’ offense at full strength after producing six goals in the previous game.
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At this point in the season, no one is at 100 percent health, so Teuvo and anyone else will play through anything minor, or even some major issues. Teuvo should be on the lookout for the Blues’ physicality, however. No doubt they’ll realize he might be a little banged up, and they’ll try to take advantage. This is addition to the fact Teuvo is one of the smaller guys on the ice, so the Blues would want to punish him as much as possible in general, seeing if they can get him to break.
The rest of the lineup looks the same for tonight, which means we have the following forward lines.
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Teuvo Teravainen
You could consider the switching of Panik and Shaw on their respective lines to be a “change,” but those two were swapped after one period in Game 6.
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Shaw and Desjardins could both wind up taking draws on the fourth line as well, so I’m not sure I’d anticipate the two staying in one position or another for all of Game 7.
The defensive unit is the same as well. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will probably play together, as will Niklas Hjalmarsson and Trevor van Riemsdyk. David Rundblad and Erik Gustafsson would be the remainders, and they probably won’t play a whole lot. With the Blues getting last change, these defensive pairings could be very fluid, as Q would probably not like to see Rundblad and Gustafsson playing against the likes of Jaden Schwartz, Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Corey Crawford will start in net and need to be very strong. It would appear he isn’t feeling any ill effects from taking a puck to the chest late in the second period of Saturday’s game, as he bounced back with a scoreless third period. Again, the last change effect should give the Blues some momentary advantages, so Crow will need to be on top of his game.