Yes, folks, it’s that time of year. No, it’s not the time when spring should finally be springing — it’s Chicago, so that won’t happen until June, right? And no, we’re not talking about bracket mania, since most have been burned, ripped up or shredded.
No, we’re talking about Teuvo Teravainen time, the time by which Chicago Blackhawks fans have set their watch for at least a week now. The 19-year-old will make his NHL debut tonight against the Dallas Stars with much fanfare, although he’s keeping a low-key outlook on this game — or at least as low a key look you can with it being your first NHL game.
But we digress. So while you all run out to buy a new Teravainen jersey, we’ll look at the Five Things to watch for in tonight’s Teuvo debut, er, Stars-Blackhawks game.
1. Do not expect Teravainen do to everything tonight. We’ve said this a few times but it bears repeating. Teravainen is a very talented kid, no doubt, but he’s still 19, still green and still growing into his game. The Blackhawks are going to be patient with him; everyone else should be, too.
2. Get that power play going again. The man advantage is 0-for-9 in the Blackhawks’ last two games, and getting production on it on Sunday would’ve helped them vs. the Predators. Even in Patrick Kane’s absence, there is enough talent on both power-play units to get something going. The Blackhawks need to produce on it again, starting tonight.
3. Prepare for a potentially weary Stars team? This will be Dallas’ second game in as many nights after the Stars beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 at home on Monday night, so they may be trying to get their legs under them. The Blackhawks will want to attack immediately before the Stars get going, because these points are vital to the Stars even getting into the postseason.
4. Beware of Tyler Seguin. A tremendous player the Stars acquired from the Boston Bruins, Seguin has been especially stellar as of late. Seguin is currently on a nine-game point streak; he has seven goals and nine assists over that span. The Stars have a few young weapons among them, but Seguin will definitely have the Blackhawks’ attention tonight.
5. Our pick to click tonight is Marian Hossa. He hasn’t been as noticeable since his first game back from that upper-body injury sustained in the Stadium Series game, but we think that changes tonight.