Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Teuvo Teravainen looking to bring stronger game

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Blackhawks: Teuvo Teravainen looking to bring stronger game

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Teuvo Teravainen couldn’t score on Corey Crawford in 3-on-3 on Sunday, despite having some prime chances.

“I just wanted to make him look good,” Teravainen said of Crawford.

The personality Teravainen started to show last year was on full display this weekend as the Blackhawks opened camp at the University of Notre Dame. So was his game.

Teravainen, who’s added some weight and strength to his frame, had a good starting weekend. He played more at center, a position he played a few years ago but is comfortable returning to if necessary, and usually teamed with Russians Viktor Tikhonov and Artemi Panarin.

[MORE: Patrick Kane reflects on Blackhawks training camp]

He’s also teaching Panarin some English. This is from the Finn who barely spoke any himself when he arrived here two years ago. It’s just one more example of how confident Teravainen is in his North American life.

He gained confidence in his game last spring, thanks to great performances during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and wants to build off that this fall.

“It was big, of course. I got a lot of confidence, some experience,” Teravainen said of the postseason. “It’s easier to go into the season, for sure. But at the same time I have a lot more to prove and I want to be better. It’s going to be a big year for me.”

It could be. To aid in that improvement, Teravainen’s been trying to bulk up to get more strength in his game. He said he’s feeling the difference already and is trying to use that strength to power up ice. Coach Joel Quenneville said Teravainen added just enough size.

“You've got to be careful of getting too big, too quick and lose that friendliness with the puck and that quickness. But I think he put [the weight] on in the right areas, and it was almost like you didn't notice it that much,” Quenneville said. “But you could see, it looks like he's a little taller, bigger and stronger. But certainly… he's at that stage where you'd like to see him keep getting better. We like what we've seen.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the 2015-16 season, Blackhawks fans!]

Teravainen started to blossom last spring. He should continue to get more ice time and a bigger role this season, although he’s not just assuming that will happen.

“Of course, a little bit. But at the same time I don’t feel like I’m on the team,” he said. “I have to be good every day here and prove I’m going to be on the team. Of course that’s my goal. We’ll see how it goes.”

BRIEFLY

  • Marcus Kruger is due to join the Blackhawks this week. Quenneville wasn’t sure which day Kruger would return, but, “I’m hopeful we’ll see him tomorrow.”

  •  Andrew Shaw and Garret Ross got into a tussle in the final scrimmage at Notre Dame. And it was a lengthy one, too. Quenneville didn’t mind the fight but said he would have preferred it ending earlier. “I’d rather I was on the ice breaking it up,” he said.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

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AP

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks on wrong side of history 

Earlier this year the Blackhawks made history by appearing in five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team in NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB history has ever done.

But Sunday they found themselves on the wrong side of it after allowing 33 shots on goal in the second period alone. It tied a franchise high for most given up in a single period — March 4, 1941 vs. Boston — and is the most an NHL team has allowed since 1997-98 when shots by period became an official stat.

"It's pretty rare to be seeing that much work in a period," said Cam Ward, who had a season-high 49 saves. "But oh man, I don't even know what to say to be honest. It's tough. We know that we need to be better especially in our home building, too. And play with some pride and passion. Unfortunately, it seemed like it was lacking at times tonight. The old cliche you lose as a team and overall as a team we weren't good enough tonight."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was a tough, tough period in all aspects. I don’t think we touched the puck at all and that was the part that was disturbing, against a good hockey team."

2. Alexandre Fortin is on the board

After thinking he scored his first career NHL goal in Columbus only to realize his shot went off Marcus Kruger's shin-pad, Fortin made up for it one night later and knows there wasn't any question about this one.

The 21-year-old undrafted forward, playing in his his fifth career game, sprung loose for a breakaway early in the first period and received a terrific stretch pass by Jan Rutta from his own goal line to Fortin, who slid it underneath Louis Domingue for his first in the big leagues. It's his second straight game appearing on the scoresheet after recording an assist against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"It's fun," Fortin said. "I think it would be a little bit more fun to get your first goal [while getting] two points for your team, but I think we ... just have to [turn the page to the] next chapter and just play and be ready for next game."

3. Brandon Saad's most noticeable game?

There weren't many positives to take away from this game, but Saad was certainly one of them. He had arguably his best game of the season, recording seven shot attempts (three on goal) with two of them hitting the post (one while the Blackhawks were shorthanded).

He was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and five against at 5-on-5, which was by far the best on his team.

"He started OK and got way better," Quenneville said of Saad. "Had the puck way more, took it to the net a couple of times, shorthanded."

4. Special teams still a work in progress

The Blackhawks entered Sunday with the 29th-ranked power play and 25th-ranked penalty kill, and are still working to get out from the bottom of the league in both departments. In an effort to change up their fortunes with the man advantage, the Blackhawks split up their two units for more balance.

They had four power-play opportunities against Tampa Bay and cashed in on one of them, but it didn't matter as it was too little, too late in the third period — although they did become the first team to score a power-play goal against the Lightning this season (29 chances).

"Whether we're looking for balance or we're just looking for one to get hot, I think our power play has been ordinary so far," Quenneville said before the game. "We need it to be more of a threat."

Four more minor penalties were committed by the Blackhawks, giving them eight in the past two games. That's one way they can shore up the penalty kill, by cutting back on taking them.

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.