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Good Luck Keeping Expectations Reasonable with Connor Bedard

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Scoring filthy goals is one thing. But doing this as an 18-year-0ld rookie with a generational tag is another. It not only doubles down on what Chicago Blackhawks hoped and prayed for when Connor Bedard was taken first overall, it all but guarantees that expectations will be rising more.

All of this after an exhibition game. If there were hopes that expectations would be levelheaded, that all went out the window after Bedard’s third goal rocketed into the net.

Connor Bedard and the Pressure of the Generational Tag

Bedard was going to be the focal point for many watching the game, regardless of it being an exhibition contest with rookies. It doesn’t overshadow the strong performance of Drew Commesso or Colton Dach. Nick Lardis had the primary assist on Bedard’s third goal. Kevin Korchinski and Nolan Allan were strong on the blue line.

But they’re not Connor Bedard. It’s not unfair to write that, either. They won’t carry the pressures he does, a hell of a lot placed onto his shoulders in pulling the Blackhawks out of a rebuild.

Oh, they’ll have pressure in their own right. But the spotlight is burning hard on Bedard and in his first organized game as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, he bags a hat trick.

It seems those lights really don’t bother him. That’s likeliest the best news for the Blackhawks.

Even after a goal, Bedard really didn’t react. Sure, he fist bumped the bench and did the skate. But moments after burying one, his eyes are on back on the ice, watching the game while his teammates were chatting.

There is something different–that’s for sure. But in spite of it, the expectations have to still be reasonable.

Meanwhile, Adam Fantilli Gets a Hat Trick of His Own

In a high scoring 10-7 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Traverse City, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Adam Fantilli notched a hat trick of his own. The third overall pick of the 2023 NHL Draft is busy letting the league know he’s for real, too.

The expectations are slightly different but the perception isn’t. Both Fantilli and Bedard are in the same boat–an expectation of premium talent taken after being selected in the top three. In just a short bit of time, both put the league on notice. For sure, it’s only exhibition but it’s how both take the ice with their presence.

There’s a chance that both could be the next generation of Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby–fitting since Crosby is Bedard’s idol. The expectations already are certainly putting them there.

There will be some tough games and certainly others that don’t go in Bedard or the Blackhawks favor. The first game in a Blackhawks sweater was like a bullseye on a dart board–exactly what was expected.

So yes, expect Bedard to be “the guy” Blackhawks fans. Just remember that like anything in life, it will come with its fair share of highs and lows.

But tonight was certainly a high that bolstered hope for the future.

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