Teuvo Teravainen’s work in Game 5 was pretty impressive; he looked like he’d played on this pressure-filled postseason stage for years, not just for weeks.
He’s in his comfort level on the ice; in front of the cameras following the game, not so much.
“I’m a lot more confident out there than in the media right here,” he said to laughs. “That’s a good thing.”
Teravainen recorded his first multi-point game of the postseason on Monday night, recording a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks’ third line has been a solid one since being reassembled – Teravainen and fellow linemate Antoine Vermette were benched for Game 3. Teravainen has been especially good, showing no nerves that would normally be expected from a 20-year-old.
Even prior to Monday night’s game, when talking about his postseason opportunities, Teravainen was calm.
“I'm just really excited to be here,” Teravainen said. “I’m playing with some really great guys. I'm just playing game by game, you know, having funright now. I'm not thinking too much.”
But Teravainen is obviously thinking enough, based on his play. He’s been good with the puck, keeping mistakes to a minimum. Earlier this season when Teravainen was still getting his feet wet, he looked reluctant to shoot. He’s not anymore; his spin-and-shoot effort early in the second gave the Blackhawks their first goal and started their domination of that period. His set-up pass to Brent Seabrook, who scored with about 26 seconds left in thesecond, was another example of what the kid can do when he doesn’t overthink the process.
“Patience, good play recognition, it’s nice to see him score a big goal for us as well,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s got a nice shot through the middle of the ice. That line got going and gave us a good push to start the second.”
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It doesn’t hurt Teravainen to be playing with two veterans in Sharp and Vermette. The three have formed good on-ice chemistry, too, giving the Blackhawks their best third-line combination in some time.
“Teuvo had a nice goal to get us going,” Sharp said. “All three of us are on the same page, putting pucks where we know we can get them back. Hopefully we have a few more goals in us.”
The shy Teravainen isn’t his most comfortable in front of the media scrums. But he’s more than in his element where it counts.
“It's been a fun time, for sure,” he said. “Right now, I'm living my dream.”