Trade benefits Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks' third and fourth lines


Trade benefits Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks' third and fourth lines

You don’t have to tell Teuvo Teravainen the importance of having good third and fourth lines in the postseason. He lived it last spring.

“Last year in the playoffs, third line I played with [Antoine Vermette] and [Patrick Sharp], we were playing really good. We could score and play good defense and our fourth line played really good defense, too,” Teravainen said. “We need four lines to play good hockey.”

To that end the Blackhawks welcome Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise to the mix. Whether it’s been the past few regular seasons or the playoff runs, the Blackhawks have long relied on their third and fourth lines for secondary scoring and for taking pressure off the top two lines offensively and defensively. That’s been missing most of this season, so the Blackhawks will readjust with their two latest acquisitions.

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“They’re both decent-sized wingers. [Weise] gives you some energy, gives you up-and-down, scores goals, goes to the net and is a good fore-checker. Fleisch gives you experience in playing a lot of different situations as well,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think you look at the lines and potential lines we can have down the road, we’re looking forward to getting them together to see how that works.”

Weise isn’t here yet – Weise has some visa issues to iron out, but general manager Stan Bowman expects him to be here within the week. So the full effect on the lines won’t be felt immediately. For now Fleischmann, who will play Sunday against the Washington Capitals, is on the third line with Andrew Desjardins and Teravainen.

Speaking of Teravainen, let’s get back to how these moves affect him. They were done to give Teravainen, who has been up and down the lineup, a more fixed role with more consistent line mates.

“I think sometimes people overlook the fact that more than anybody on our group of forwards, he’s bounced around and had to be the most versatile guy. That’s not easy to do for a young guy who’s trying to get established in the league. He’s a very important player for us and will continue to be,” Bowman said. “But I think in fairness to him, if we can give him more stability it might enhance his profile a bit.”

[MORE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman wanted veteran presence for stretch run]

That’s fine with Teravainen, because it worked well last spring. He, Vermette and Sharp were strong, with the line coming up with big points at critical times. They were also solid defensively. The same goes for that postseason fourth line of Desjardins, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw. Once Kruger returns from his wrist injury, Quenneville could put those three together again.

The Blackhawks have a chance to get that great four-line rotation that has worked for them the last few regular and postseasons. It should also help Teravainen find some line stability. He was a little disappointed to see teammate Phillip Danault go in the deal that brought Weise and Fleischmann here – “he was one of my best buddies here,” Teravainen said. But he understands the business and that the Blackhawks are doing what’s necessary to win another Cup.

“It’s good to have some new guys,” he said. “I’m excited to get our team going and looking forward to the playoffs. I think these guys will help us.”

Andrew Shaw on his career season in Montreal and adding toughness to Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw on his career season in Montreal and adding toughness to Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw had a terrific 2018-19 season with the Montreal Canadiens. He set a career high with 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) despite missing 19 games due to injuries and averaged 15:55 of ice time, which was the highest of his NHL career.

When asked to explain why he believes he had the best offensive output of his career, Shaw pointed to one thing.

“Honestly I just think it was the hunger for the game," Shaw said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "I missed nine months with knee surgery and concussions. I battled back to get back to where I needed to be and just started having fun again. Maybe I’m bigger, stronger, older. I think I’ve been in situations in games so many times that you’re better at reacting to them so I think that maybe that has a little bit to do with it.”

The Blackhawks reacquired Shaw because they've lacked some jam in their game over the past couple seasons. And looking at the other moves GM Stan Bowman has made this summer, it's clear that's an area they prioritized.

Shaw noticed it too and he's excited to see how it'll all come together this coming season.

“I still have to be me," Shaw said. "I still have to go out there and work and compete and bring the energy I’ve always brought. I think it’s the intensity and the love of the game that pushes me to do that so I think it’s something that others feed off of. With a couple other guys they brought in, too, we got a little bit more grit, a little bit more defensive game. I think it’s going to be a really good year.”

Check out the interview in the video above.

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Brian Campbell on Adam Boqvist's progression and preaching patience in his development

Brian Campbell on Adam Boqvist's progression and preaching patience in his development

The breakout star of Blackhawks development camp in July was undoubtedly Adam Boqvist, who was taken No. 8 overall in 2018. It was evident how much his game has grown over the past year.

Former Blackhawks defenseman — and now player development coach — Brian Campbell worked closely with Boqvist this past season and raved about the steps he took with the London Knights in the OHL. But Campbell is also preaching patience in Boqvist's development. Boqvist just turned 19 on Thursday, and it's important to let him develop at his own pace.

“Yeah, I was impressed," Campbell said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Obviously, he’s come a long way in a year from last development camp. There’s no pressure being put on him. He’ll develop at his time. If he pushes for a spot, great, but I just don’t want people to get away. There’s a lot to keep learning and he wants to learn, which is the greatest thing. His teammates love him: great thing. He wants to do extra and learn the game: great thing. He is preparing himself days before, even in development camp, he’s preparing himself days before. So all great things and he’s on the right path.

"Hopefully that happens and maybe it does happen but if it doesn’t then that’s not the case and he keeps getting better and wants to keep getting better. Definitely, we know his skill level is there and I think he’s taken a huge step in the last year in preparing himself and knowing how to prepare as a pro player now. There’s a lot of great things there, and hopefully he does do that, but for me, I just don’t want to put too much on him right now. He’s turning 19 soon so he’s still a really young kid and it’s a tough position to play at a pro level. Believe me, I’m smiling, but I just don’t want to force the issue too much. Hopefully he can do some great things, but if he doesn’t, then that’s OK too.”