The following is excerpted from the December 2015 issue of Blackhawks Magazine, featuring Teuvo Teravainen. Pick up the newest issue of the magazine at the next Blackhawks home game, or by calling the Blackhawks Store at 312-759-0079.
In Game 1 of the Final last year in Tampa Bay, you scored a huge goal that tied the Lightning 1-1 in the third period. Hossa said you were “Finnish cold” on that play. So calm. You also had the only assist on Antoine Vermette’s winner a couple minutes later.
That was exciting. The goal I scored, it came after great plays by Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw to get me the puck. I like the puck. I want the puck.
And when you don’t get it, or don’t feel you’re playing well, you get down on yourself.
I know when I don’t play well. Jim Gary, our mental skills coach, I talk with him. Sometimes I need help with my confidence. I don’t get mad at the coach when I don’t play well or don’t play a lot. I get mad at myself. I’m hard on myself.
Your English is getting better and better. Do you feel for another young player like Artemi Panarin, a Russian still learning the language?
He’s picking up a few new words every day, I think. There are three or four he’s using for sure, but I don’t want to say what they are. Not here.
Everybody says you have a terrific sense of humor. Are you a funny guy?
I don’t know. I can’t give you a specific example, but sometimes I say things that are funny in Finland but not so funny here. Not like telling a joke. Just something I think is funny, but maybe I’m the only one who thinks it’s funny.
How long did it take you to get rid of your playoff beard last June?
What beard? I still only shave maybe once a week. Maybe here (touching beneath his nose) or here (chin).
Talk about your family back in Helsinki.
I have a sister, Satu, and a brother, Eero. Both are younger than me; both play hockey. My father, Pekka, is a dentist. My mother, Sari, she works too. If they want to watch our games, they have to get up at 3 in the morning. Sometimes my father will watch me, then go right to work. Crazy.
On the day you were drafted in 2012, Brandon Saad announced the selection in Pittsburgh, his hometown. Do you remember that?
I saw my photo on the board. That’s me. I’m going to Chicago. Later I heard that he messed up my name. “Tooboo Tobonomanon.” Something like that. That’s OK. It’s a hard name.