After Teuvo Teravainen powered the Chicago Blackhawks to victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, he noted the stress of having to meet with media. To the Finnish 20-year-old winger, talking to a bunch of reporters in a crowded room was more intimidating than trailing on the road on the biggest frozen stage of his life.
"When I scored the goal I think the first thing was, ‘Oh no, I have to go do media now,'" Teravainen said. Let's hope he gets used to it.
Many people are calling the series opener against Tampa Bay "The Teuvo Game," which makes sense. The Blackhawks might not rally without the young forward, who played a pivotal role in both of the team's goals, and it felt like a coming out party of sorts. He ended up under the limelight in a Cup Final less than two weeks after finding himself in the press box.
That label almost implies Teuvo can't top this, though, and having watched him for the past few months, it's getting harder to set a ceiling on his potential. He's raised the bar faster than anyone could have imagined, going from Rockford to Chicago to Stanley Cup Final star in the blink of an eye. We knew he would be good, but I'm not sure how many people expected him to be this good so quickly.
"He doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat. He’s so calm. He’s Finnish cold," longtime forward Marian Hossa said after Game 1. Gee, I wonder where he learned that from?
Maybe Teravainen would have been amazing no matter where he went, but the partnership with the Blackhawks seems like the perfect situation for both sides. Teuvo has clearly learned a lot from playing next to Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Chicago's other stars, and now he's showing confidence as an NHL player before he's even allowed to legally drink a beer in the U.S. You need to keep adding talent to stay competitive in the cap era, and Teuvo is part of the next wave. It almost feels unfair when you consider everything else that has gone right for Chicago over the past few years.
Teuvo is ascending to the stars before our eyes, and he's doing it on a national stage that will hopefully make the rest of the league appreciate him, too. Get ready for more tweets like this one:
Teravainen may not love the idea of constantly being the center of media scrums, but he will probably have to get used to it. Maybe he can get some tips from Kane and Toews, who have been doing this since they were a similar age. He's clearly learned how to emulate their tranquil on-ice attitudes.
Now Teuvo just needs to master the interviews that come after the games. Wednesday night might've been his first time talking to reporters after a mind-numbingly brilliant performance, but it won't be the last. Welcome to the Teuvo Era.