Teravainen has time to develop with talented Blackhawks

SHARE Teravainen has time to develop with talented Blackhawks
SHARE Teravainen has time to develop with talented Blackhawks

Blackhawks fans were understandably excited about seeing Teuvo Teravainen, the club’s most ballyhooed prospect since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

But the Hawks were understandably protective of their skilled 20-year-old Finnish forward.

“Just play. Play the right way. Let things work out,’’ is the advice coach Joel Quenneville gave to the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. “We don’t expect anything other than that. As he gets into the game, we’ll see how he’s playing, how he’s handling it. If he’s doing well, we’ll probably give him more.’’

Teravainen seemed to handle things, based on his 15 shifts and 10:50 of ice time.

“I don’t mind him,’’ Quenneville said. “I don’t mind his game.’’

The deep and talented Hawks, of course, have the luxury of bringing Teravainen along slowly. And that’s fine with their enticing rookie.

“I’m happy to be here, trying to enjoy my time here,’’ Teravainen said before the game, denying feeling any pressure to perform. “I’m just trying to play smart simple hockey and play to my strengths.’’

That said, he appreciates the public clamor.

“That’s great. I love the fans here,’’ said Teravainen, called up in the wake of the hand injury that’s expected to sideline Kris Versteeg for a month. “I know there are a lot of expectations. I’m just trying to enjoy my time here and stay positive. I don’t know that I’m nervous. I’m good.’’

Teravainen, whose dressing stall is next to fellow Finn Antti Raanta, also is feeling support from within.

“There’s a lot of experience in this locker room and they’re helping me a lot,’’ he said. “Kaner and Toews have been in this same situation. It’s good to have Antti here, too.’’

Outdoor game: Lights out

With the outdoor game played and the television hype that accompanied it also gone, the Hawks were looking forward to being a little less public.

“More privacy in the room,’’ Andrew Shaw said. “The pressure is off from that game. We just have to focus on making a big push for the rest of the year.’’

Even the outgoing Shaw fretted about being on camera a little too candidly.

“[The cameras] get annoying after a while,’’ Shaw said. “But it’s for the fans, to give back and let them have an inside look at our day-to-day routine. I havent seen any of [the episodes] yet.

I’ll sit down and watch them all at some point. I heard about some things I probably wish they hadn’t put in. But it’s too late now, I guess.’’

Carcillo: ‘Got to get my game back’

Even with Versteeg out, Daniel Carcillo was a healthy scratch. And the veteran is taking Quenneville’s observation about picking up the pace seriously.

“Pace means speed, moving your feet and getting pucks quickly before other guys win battles,’’ Carcillo said. “I’ve tailed off here lately, and I knew it. I’ve just got to get my game back.’’

There’s no easy explanation, he said.

“I don’t want to make any excuses,’’ said Carcillo, who has skill that goes beyond his physical reputation. “I know I haven’t been playing the way I can lately. I just have to do what I know needs to get done to get back to it.’’

There’s no health or injury issue, he said: “It’s nothing physical. You go through ebbs and flows through the year. This is a bit of lower point. I just need to pick up my game. It’s pretty simple.’’

Quenneville said he’s simply dressing the Hawks’ best lineup, not sending motivational messages by sitting out Carcillo.

“Whether it’s a veteran, whether it’s a young guy, it doesn’t make a difference,’’ the coach said.

“It’s a competitive business. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to play more. You’ve got to find a way to stay in the lineup and push one another. We’ve had a lot of decisions this year with guys sitting out. It’s never a good situation when it’s you. But you know you’ve got to treat it like you’ve got to do everything you can to get back into the lineup.’’

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