Everything Else

A couple times a week, I put myself through a ritual that makes me feel all the things. It provides joy and excitement, while also putting a mythical flaming dagger right into my chest cavity. It makes me pump my fist, and then direct that fist right into my own teeth/balls, whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

It’s watching Teuvo Teravainen play.

Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t. Our Special Boy, our Finn of Dragons, our Turbo Targaryn, is lighting it up in Raleigh. He’s got 15 points in 17 games. Some of that is piling up eight points in his last four games, but it’s been ridiculous. He’s carrying a +5.0 relative Corsi-percentage on the best Corsi team in the league. He’s got a +3.8 relative xGF% on one of the better ones in the NHL.

But numbers don’t really tell the story. You have to watch him, Sebastien Aho, and Jordan Staal. Staal has 15 points in 17 games as well, the post points-per-game he’s ever had in his career. Teuvo and Aho on some shifts just look like they’re playing a different sport.

It’s amazing what happens when you just let a young player do what he does best. Those whipped passes without looking that Teuvo only got to flash here on occasion, where the puck is only on his stick for a blink before he’s finding someone on the other side of the ice, are heavily featured. He’s added a shooting-mentality at times, which the Hawks could never get through to him, though they pretty much asked him to sacrifice everything else to do so. The little fucker even scored on a slapshot against the Stars to kick off his natural hat trick on Monday.

It’s pleasure you usually have to pay for, mixed with pain… you usually have to pay for. Because it shouldn’t be happening there. When Stan Bowman’s run comes to an end, no matter when, losing Teuvo Teravainen for nothing, merely to clear Bryan Bickell’s contract, might end up his biggest mistake. What would he look like on a line with Alex DeBrincat right now? What would the whole forward corps look like with Teuvo’s skills and flexibility?

It shouldn’t be this way. It’s a huge indictment on the way the Hawks used to run (still do?) that someone’s souring on Teuvo could become an organization-wide feeling. This is a player who took over a Stanley Cup Final game at the age of 20 in the 3rd period. He kick-started a near-miracle comeback in Anaheim in Game 5. His line came up with three of the biggest goals in that run in ’15–the winners in Games 1 and 5 in the Final and the OT winner in Game 4 against the Ducks.

And yet the Hawks could only see what wasn’t there. He wasn’t big enough, even though his hands and mind would have compensated in the middle. He didn’t shoot enough or forecheck hard enough, even though his vision would have made him the clear second-best playmaker on the team, behind only one of the league’s best in Patrick Kane.

Stan and Q will never suffer for it, as all they have to do is point at their three banners. And even if they’d kept Teuvo, after this latest contract is up he might have been too expensive then.

This is the NHL they want. Where if you make the mistake of paying someone like Brent Seabrook, you lose Teuvo and the chance to have Panarin and Saad together and/or Stephen Johns or Nick Leddy. That doesn’t make Stan an idiot. It just makes him not perfect.

I try to just enjoy Teuvo without any of the context. But it’s impossible. Some ex’s never escape your mind. You always wonder…

Everything Else

It always feels a little silly to say your heart is breaking watching millionaires, but there are instances where if it didn’t you’ve become pure granite on the inside. In this case, it’s watching someone whose whole life has revolved around one thing having that one thing simply taken away from him, and I doubt there’s an amount of money in the world that can make one at peace with that. If you didn’t see Bryan Bickell after last night’s game, you may want to seclude yourself before watching:

Everything Else

There were more than a few Hawks fans having a a good hearty laugh when coming home from the game last night when they saw Andrew Shaw having yet another meltdown. This time it was in Anaheim, getting himself tossed late in a game the Habs trailed by one goal and could have, oh I don’t know, used a guy with a knack for getting goals from in close.

Of course, now it’s just an figure of fun for pretty much the entire hockey world, though I guaranteed on Hockey Night In Canada’s pregame show on Saturday that Kypreos and Hrudey will use this as an example of true passion and to indict Max Pacioretty as a leader or something (though maybe that’s not totally inaccurate but let’s get to that in a second).

Quite simply, this is what happens when you tell Andrew Shaw, who probably couldn’t spell “NHL,” he’s being rewarded for all the wrong things. What made Andrew Shaw a success here in Chicago weren’t all the yelling faces or the punching people after the whistle or the dirty hits. What made him successful is he never stopped moving his feet, was willing to go to the front of the net (though he really wasn’t all that skilled at it no matter what everyone around here will tell you) and he has better hands than a third liner usually does. It wasn’t Shaw’s attitude or yap that drew a lot of penalties. It was that he just never stopped and would cause turnovers or keep possessions going and eventually put a defender in a bad spot. There really weren’t a lot of retalitory penalties where Shaw wasn’t canceling out with his own roughing call.

However, when you tell him that it’s his passion and fire and yelling that got him four million dollars a year, this is what you get.

Everything Else

It was rumored a week or two ago but a lot of us didn’t want to believe it. The Hawks pulled the trigger on trading Bryan Bickell and having it cost them Teuvo Teravainen to do so, shipping them to Carolina for 2nd and 3rd round picks this year. Remember, Patrick Sharp can’t get you picks in return for a salary dump but Bickell and Teuvo can. MMMMMM THAT’S GOOD GM-ING!

There are various levels on which to view this, and you can’t really judge it until we see what the Hawks get to do with the cap space they now have. Though you have to ask yourself if the $1M in savings this does over simply buying out Bickell, and the $1.5M next year, is worth losing Teuvo. I don’t think it is.

Everything Else

bluestrumpet_jersey vs evil empire

Game Time: 7:30PM
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Toasted Ravs, Man: SLGT

Tonight’s game between the Hawks and Blues is being labeled a playoff preview by all of the flapping heads around the league, and in one sense, that’s not accurate at all given the number of injuries on both sides that will surely answer the bell this time next week, as well as the fact that this first round matchup is anything but a foregone conclusion. And in that respect tonight already is a playoff game unto itself. Should the Blues gain a single point, they will clinch some form of home ice and the Hawks will be locked into third in the Central. However a Hawks regulation win still keeps them in position for home ice if not the division, depending on the outcome of Stars/Avs. The Hawks would still need some help from the Preds and/or Capitals on Saturday, but they still have to close out their regular season home schedule properly tonight to give themselves a chance.

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, have a crowd on the blue line these days.

With David Rundblad finishing his season in Europe and being assigned to Rockford on Friday, the Hogs had eight healthy bodies to patrol the back end. Coach Ted Dent will certainly have numerous options for the final dozen games on his team’s schedule.

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate, finished this week’s action as the leader in the Central Division standings. However, this team is definitely entering March like a lamb.

Rockford has dropped seven of its last ten. Three of those losses have come in overtime, which has kept them on top of the division for the time being. Finishing February at 3-4-3-0 suggests that this group could use a jolt of…well…something as they enter the stretch run of the 2015-16 season.

Where might that jolt come from? Allow me to grasp at a few straws…

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs have an offense by committee this season. It’s a familiar situation for the Blackhawks AHL affiliate-as well as a successful one.

The Hogs split this weekend’s two games, breaking a four-game skid on Sunday and remaining on top of the AHL’s Central Division standings. As of Monday morning, Rockford could also boast the highest point percentage (.677) in the Western Conference.

The IceHogs are doing this without a top-ten point scorer…or a top-forty point scorer…Or a top-100 point scorer…

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs donned pink sweaters for breast cancer awareness Saturday night. The Blackhawks AHL affiliate also continued to be in the pink in terms of their position in the Western Conference standings.

With two wins in three home games this week, the Hogs regained the top spot in the Central Division as well as the conference. Those wins came courtesy of goalie Michael Leighton, who is also approaching a long-standing AHL record.