But the Blackhawks came into the blue bloods’ palace and painted it red.
Bedard scored two goals and added two assists, and Korchinski recorded his first NHL goal — but the kids were lifted by Hawks veterans during a 5-3 upset Thursday at Amalie Arena.
Korchinski scored his first NHL goal from the point with 3:17 left in the first period to tie the game 2-2.
It wasn’t the sleekest one would draw up for a first goal, ricocheting in off Darren Raddysh’s skate.
“Took a lucky bounce, but I’ll take it, obviously,” Korchinski said.
At least it happened during the Hawks “moms trip,” with the players’ mothers in the stands.
“First goal, special moment,” Korchinski said. “Obviously it’s cool having my mom here to see it. Just kind of adds to it. It’s good that we got the win, too, makes it more special.”
Bedard had a special night, too, flirting with a hat trick.
But his first multigoal and multipoint game is far from a consolation prize.
“It’s just kind of sticking with it,” Bedard said. “And I felt like there were games I might have created more than this (in juniors) and had zero points. It’s just kind of how things go sometimes. But obviously it feels good to be on that scoresheet.”
On Bedard’s first goal, it was actually Kurashev who had the pretty moves.
Kurashev took a pass from Bedard from behind the net. Then he stickhandled in front of and walked up on the net. He made a beautiful backhand dish to Bedard, who tapped it in.
Bedard got all the style points for his second goal.
He sneaked up behind Kucherov in the neutral zone and snatched the puck from him, then in a flash he and Foligno had Erik Černák caught in a 2-on-1 with Anthony Cirelli in hot pursuit.
Foligno slid the puck to Bedard, who went forehand-backhand as he crossed the crease and left Cirelli and Jonas Johansson in a heap.
Bedard said of stripping Kucherov, “Some of the guys were saying something about it. It’s someone I love watching, one of my favorite players to watch.”
Added Hawks coach Luke Richardson: “He wanted that puck and he went and got it tonight. He did a lot of right things tonight.”
Bedard said it would’ve been great if he got the third goal: “You always want to score when you’re out there, but I wasn’t trying to force anything.”
For a change, the Hawks didn’t force anything when the Lightning struck the first blow, Cirelli’s power-play goal.
They didn’t dance around looking for the perfect pass or perfect shot. They forechecked hard and Bedard put the Hawks on the board with a doorstep goal — with Hedman on his back — 1 minute, 22 seconds later.
When the Lightning retook the lead on Kucherov’s goal, Korchinski and Tyler Johnson scored 55 seconds apart.
“Just stay calm, stick to our game,” Korchinski said. “Just not trying to do it all ourselves. Obviously we’ve got to trust one another, whether it’s defensively or offensively.”
Bedard’s second goal, with 8 seconds left in the period, gave the Hawks a 4-2 lead and completely swung momentum in the Hawks’ favor.
Perry’s power-play goal in the second gave them some insurance.
“Our team overall the first 10 minutes they were really possessing the puck,” Bedard said. “We showed good patience and we waited for their mistakes.”
Here are eight takeaways.
1. Bedard makes his marks early.
Bedard’s two goals broke a tie with Minnesota’s Marco Rossi for most among rookies, but Thursday’s output put him among some elite company historically.
At 18 years, 115 days, he became the third-youngest player in history to record a four-point game, according to NHL Stats and Information.
He also became the youngest in Hawks history to record a multigoal game, surpassing Kirby Dach (18 years, 300 days on Nov. 17, 2019).
Bedard also eclipsed Eddie Olczyk for the youngest Hawk to put up a three-point game (18 years, 213 days on March 17, 1985).
“All the points I felt the other guys did great things and I got to benefit,” Bedard said.
2. Korchinski knows just where the first-goal puck belongs.
Korchinski got a bit of puck luck for his first goal.
“I was aiming for (MacKenzie Entwistle’s) stick and saw him backdoor, and it hit something, so I didn’t know if it hit that or a skate or something,” he said. “But I was just happy it went in the net originally.”
Because his mother, Stacey, was in attendance, he said the puck should go with her.
“I’m not going to take it because I’ll probably lose it,” Korchinski said. “So I’ll give it to her to bring back home for safekeeping.”
3. Taylor Hall and 2 other Hawks were injured.
Hall suffered a right leg injury when Michael Eyssimont checked him into the boards and his leg appeared to get bent under him. He held his knee and then was helped into the tunnel.
Richardson said it didn’t look great on the ice but he looked better in the dressing room.
The Hawks missed Hall’s presence when he was out with a shoulder injury.
“He plays hard,” Richardson said. “When you don’t have a guy on your team, you don’t really realize sometimes how guys really play and he plays physical.
“He’s a strong guy. Hopefully he’s good and we’ll just see how that goes tomorrow.”
4. How much better is Bedard on this line?
Bedard was getting a lot of shot attempts and scoring chances to start the season, but he hit a lull in mid-October.
Heading into Thursday’s game, Bedard has scored three goals in four games, but it’s not just about the end results. He’s seeing an uptick again in unblocked shot attempts (4, 3, 3 and 4) and scoring chances (3, 3, 3 and 2), according to NaturalStatTrick.com.
As a line, how do you complement each other’s playing styles?
“Connor wants the puck,” Foligno said. “It’s funny to say, but some guys, they don’t, they defer a lot of times, and he’s the guy that wants the puck.
“Kursh is so good on the forecheck and so hard working, and he’s not afraid to get into corners. I try to be around the net front, so it really plays well with the way we are.”
The line took it up a notch Thursday.
Bedard, Foligno and Kurashev were on the ice for two goals, and Bedard and Foligno were on with Tyler Johnson for a third.
“All those goals you can look at other guys, what they did, and I got to benefit,” Bedard said. “I think the play Kurshy, the first one, was beautiful and obviously Nick with the three other nice helpers.
“It was fun to kind of get that and spread the scoring around.”
5. The Lightning have credibility.
Look at the Stanley Cup matchups over the last five seasons:
2023: Vegas Golden Knights over Florida Panthers
2021: Tampa Bay Lightning over Montreal Canadiens
2020: Tampa Bay Lightning over Dallas Stars
2019: St. Louis Blues over Boston Bruins
By the end of this weekend, minus the Stars and Blues, the Hawks will have played all those elite teams within their first 13 games — and three of them twice.
“It seems like it never stops,” Richardson said. “But you know what, it’s a challenge and you’re playing them sometime, so why not play them early?
Notice how many times the Lightning showed up in that list?
“They just know how to win, right?” Foligno said. “They have a history of winning here. We’re trying to find out who we are — they know who they are. That’s probably one of the best compliments you can get as a team.”
Foligno hopes the young Hawks pick up how they’re are winning.
“Sometimes it’s not pretty, sometimes it’s not the tick-tack-toe play, it’s the net-front battle that puts the puck in the net, or the big defensive play and …. how quickly momentum can change in a game.
“You think you’re dominating a team and all of a sudden they have one push back and now they’re rolling the other way. Against good teams that are confident in who they are, you get a real good lesson in that, and I think our team is going to grow from that.”
6. Should he be called ‘Scary’ Perry?
Perry only spent a couple of seasons in Tampa, Fla., but he’s the type who leaves an impression wherever he has been.
The Lightning played on tribute on the video board, and Perry received a loud ovation.
“It’s always the visiting team’s fans that hate him and teams that hate him,” Richardson said.
Corey and Foligno already have endeared themselves to their new Hawks teammates. They might share similarities in the way they play, but Foligno is chatty while sometimes Perry barely speaks above a whisper.
Said Richardson: “Corey’s a quiet guy off the ice — I’m sure you guys have spoken to him — but when he gets into the game, it’s fire and it’s compete, and he’s on the bench and he’s keeping the coaches on their toes.
“He’s keeping the players on their toes. He’s talking to the refs every shift. So he doesn’t let anything go by.”
Richardson recalled that fire coming out in a recent practice.
“We were working on our dumps and we turned the puck over at the blue line and he came off and the look on his face, he barked at the guys, ‘C’mon, you’ve got to get that puck in.’
“Makes the coach’s job a lot easier because I think the player will be a lot more fearful hearing from him than me, (who’s) like a parent — make your bed and take out the trash — it becomes like old hat. But when your peer tells you, you pick your socks up and you do it right the next time.”
7. What are the chances that all chances aren’t equal?
The Hawks have continued to upgrade their analytics department since former associate general manager Jeff Greenberg left the organization for a baseball job, though they still keep the details close to the vest.
“I’m not giving you the app yet on your phone, not yet anyway,” Richardson joked to reporters.
The Hawks coach said Greenberg’s former department adds another layer of information and refines it in a way many data collectors don’t.
“A guy like (Steven) Stamkos, if he’s outside the dots closer to the wall and he takes a one-timer and it’s not in the prime area, I still say if we’re giving that shot up, that’s a prime chance for a guy like that,” Richardson said. “What if there’s a guy that’s a young fourth-liner, penalty-killing type guy and he’s in the prime area and doesn’t really get a good chance off it, or he gets a shot off but it doesn’t look like a scoring chance. But they still give him a quality scoring chance.
“I would rate Stamkos’ (shot) a higher percentage. That’s where it’s skewed. We’re actually throwing that layer in on our stats. Our analytics are going to be a little closer to what we want to see.”
8. Give an assist to the moms.
The Florida trip doubles as the mom’s trip, where many of the players’ mothers join the team.
“We had dinner yesterday,” Korchinski said. “It was good to meet new people. It’s a really good time.”
Korchinski has never experienced anything like that with his junior team, the Seattle Thunderbirds.
“We couldn’t fit all the moms on the bus,” he said.
Richardson said the moms trip brings a different energy. And they certainly brought energy from their cheering section. Their presence also gives a peek into their sons’ makeup.
“We learn a little bit how people react. Is someone different just because their mum’s around or not? Maybe a little bit,” Richardson said.
“No, not at all,” Wyatt Kaiser said about having any nerves with mom around.
Actually, they don’t talk about hockey that much, but he realizes how much she had been there growing up.
“In the summers, a lot of times we have a 45-minute drive there, we’d be at practice for an hour and a half, driving another hour back and it’s all after her doing work and then coming home and having to cook dinner,” Kaiser said. “So many early mornings, long trips.”