If you couldn’t tell from all the hockey boners being unsuccessfully hidden by notebooks all over Chicago, today was #TeuvoTuesday, the official game debut of Teuvo Teräväinen in a Blackhawks jersey. So how did it go against the middling Dallas Stars, who are somehow, inexplicably, still in the hunt for a playoff spot?
Pretty fucking good, actually. After a rather tepid start in the first, the Blackhawks picked up the pace late in the first, dominated the second and survived the dreaded score effects in the third to rather handily beat the Stars 4-2. All the evidence is in, so let’s get to it.
The Innocent: Duncan Keith had a goal on a nice slapper and an assist to continue his recent flood of scoring. He also shot a number of pucks right into Kari Lehtonen’s bread basket, so some things never change.
Marian Hossa put on a puck handling clinic that helped lead to a goal, and was generally Marian Hossa-like. Patrick Sharp had two assists. Andrew Shaw not only managed to not take an asinine penalty, but he also scored the opening Blackhawks goal – from his knees, even – late in the first on a power play.
I could go on about how Crawford stood tall when it mattered, and how Niklas Hjalmarsson was solid at both ends of the ice, but that’s not what we all want to hear about, now is it? I know what you want, and no, I’m not flashing my goods.
Oh, that’s not what you want? How about some fuckin’ Teuvo Teräväinen, then?
In his NHL debut at the tender age of 19, #TitoTendervittles was beyond innocent. I mean, look at this kid. He’s pure as the driven snow. He’s so young his acne has acne. You see this cat here?
That’s probably as close as Teuvo has ever gotten to a pussy. He’s seriously young, guys! (Many thanks to Mighty Mike D, @brightblack76, for this Teuvo Two-fer photoshop.)
But back to hockey. Man, does this kid have the goods. Google translate tells me that “Teuvo” translates to “Theodore” and “terävä” means “sharp,” as in “incisive” or “astute.” And holy shit does that describe Teuvo’s hockey IQ. Ted Sharp won all of his faceoffs, backchecked, got involved along the boards, positioned himself responsibly, passed like a dream, handled power play time like it was soft serve ice cream, and looked like he was born to play the game.
Ted Sharp didn’t make the score sheet tonight, but he’s the real fuckin’ deal. Two-photoshops real. Deal with it, Snake Farm.
The Indicted: Kris Versteeg on the first line is like letting a toddler run loose in a Hallmark store: he’s out of place, occasionally breaks things and basically
The Guilty: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the following, and ask that you convict Joel Quenneville of first degree coaching while huffing: Brandon Bollig had 12:07 TOI. Ted Sharp had 11:39. Brandon Saad only had 13:03 and Ben Smith 13:09. Ted Sharp and the Magnetic Heroes (who tonight was Saad and Smith) generated scoring chances practically every shift. And what did Bollig contribute? A cretinous slashing penalty in the first, general pointlessness in the offensive zone, negation of a Hjammer ENG with a high stick, and a fight with noted penisloaf Antoine Roussel in which Roussel was not beaten to a pulp as he so richly deserves.
I’m a Q fan. The man’s won 2 Cups and over 700 NHL games, and I can’t even skate. But whereas players like Saad and Teräväinen have extraordinary hockey IQ’s for being so young, Bollig eats paste and calls it filet Mignon. And he gets rewarded with ice time for it. Fuck that.
But enough about the Human Stain. Tonight was all about the beginning of the Teuvo Teräväinen era. And it was good.
Next up, Ted Sharp takes his talents to Boston to face the reigning runners up Thursday night. It’s a 6:00 start, so leave work early if you must. You don’t want to miss a minute.