Now that his season in Finland is finished, Teuvo Teravainen's run to the postseason with the Blackhawks may just be getting started, and perhaps as early as this week.
The 19-year-old's season ended Sunday when his team, Jokerit, was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Might the Hawks' 2012 first-round pick be the answer to the eternal question of who is going to center the second line for the Hawks?
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That's TBD, but coach Joel Quenneville sounds like he's open to giving the youngster a shot.
"We saw what he's capable of in camp, and I guess there was some real good progression to his season here, as well, so you know, it could happen at some point," Quenneville said.
Teravainen had 9 goals and 35 assists in 49 games in Liiga and was a standout for Finland in the World Junior Championships.
"I think he got stronger and better defensively," Quenneville said. "I watched some of those World (Juniors) Championship games, where he really looked like he was one of the top guys."
Maybe not so bad:
While Joel Quenneville could not have been more unhappy with his team's play Friday against Nashville, and in Colorado, too, for that matter, Detroit's Mike Babcock said those back-to-back losses might not be such a bad thing for the defending champs.
"Every time you have a good team you experience what they're experiencing right now. It's a good thing," Babcock said. "It's good to be that good and take a couple of days off."
It has been well noted that not much has gone right for the Hawks of late, but one of the positives in the eyes of Joel Quenneville has been the play of power forward Bryan Bickell.
"I see a trend," Quenneville said. "I think the last three or four games Bicks has been much better."
Including Friday's clunker against Nashville.
"I think he's coming off one of his best games … one of the few guys the last game that we liked the way he played," Quenneville said. "When he elevates his game to a different level, it's like, 'Wow, he really impacts the game.' "
After suffering an upper-body injury late in the second period, Brandon Saad did not return to the ice for the final 20 minutes Sunday.
"He seemed all right; I don't think it's too serious," Joel Quenneville said.
He said it:
"He's the kind of guy that makes your franchise win for a long time because he does it right."
-- Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on Hawks' captain Jonathan Toews