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updated: 3/25/2014 5:25 AM

Teravainen's debut should wake up Hawks fans

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  • Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has hinted that 19-year-old prospect Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL debut Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars at the United Center.

      Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has hinted that 19-year-old prospect Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL debut Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars at the United Center.
    Associated Press

 
 

Please, Blackhawks, get this Teuvo Teravainen guy into a game.

Someone needs to wake up a sleepy city. Tuesday night against Dallas in the United Center would be soon enough.

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Other than maybe the outdoor game earlier this month and a visit by the Blues, the Hawks season has been a snore.

The most significant event has been Patrick Kane's injury, which currently is just another reason to check out the Bulls instead of the Hawks for a while.

Sorry, hockey fans, the Bulls at least have provided some suspense since Derrick Rose went out for the season.

First it was whether the Bulls could ever win a game. After Luol Deng it was how high in the lottery would they go. Now it's could they earn the No. 3 seed in the NBA East.

Mediocrity -- club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's characterization -- has made the Bulls' regular season meaningful.

How did they beat those guys? Can they beat these guys? When will Tom Thibodeau blow out a vein in his neck?

The Bulls are mostly a function of the conference being so bad, though they did upset a few good teams along the way.

Conversely, the Blackhawks' problem is that they have been too successful. Until the teams' respective postseasons, the Hawks are better quality while the Bulls are better drama.

Making the playoffs has been a given for the Hawks since the first faceoff in October.

While every time the Bulls win is surprising, every time the Hawks lose is surprising. Surprise victories trump surprise defeats.

Take the other night: The Predators slid into the United Center and not only beat the Hawks, they shut them out.

If fans booed the effort -- or lack of it -- I couldn't hear it over TV.

Understandable, really, isn't it? How could a Chicago sports fan boo a team that has won two championships in four years and is contending for another?

If memory serves, Bulls fans didn't boo Michael Jordan and teammates either during the dynasty run in the 1990s.

Season after season, NBA title after NBA title, those Bulls earned more benefit of doubt from the faithful.

Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the rest compiled so much equity that a rare bad night was accepted as, well, pretty much a rare bad night.

The United Center roof wasn't falling on the Bulls. The league hadn't caught up to them. Nobody had to be released, fired or dismembered.

Jonathan Toews and these Hawks are verging on similar status. It will take more than a bad stretch for any sane fan to turn on them.

Meanwhile, the regular season remains an 82-game wait for the postseason to begin.

Hard-core Hawks fans continue to fill the United Center and sustain TV ratings, but casual observers are biding their time for next month to arrive.

Perhaps another sort of arrival will interrupt the monotony before then: 5-foot-11, 169-pound 19-year-old Teuvo Teravainen, a Finnish product if not a finished product.

Teravainen's first game would warm winter if spring weren't already here. Still, we could use a considerable warmup anyway.

The forward from Finland -- dare we dream that he's the Hawks' long-awaited No. 2 center -- already has created a buzz.

Teravainen's legend preceded him here just as Cubs prospect Javier Baez's has.

Much has been raved about Teravainen recently and, thank goodness, the Hawks aren't going to delay his regular-season debut in the United Center for as long as the Cubs are delaying Baez's debut in Wrigley Field.

Bring it on, fellas.

Whether Teravainen impresses enough to stick around into the playoffs, a glimpse of him will be much appreciated for now.

Tuesday night would be a good time for the young man to hit the ice.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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