The Chicago Blackhawks are shaking up the line combinations with a few extra days off before facing off against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. One of those changes has put one of their young forwards in a new spot.
Moving Lukas Reichel to the wing is the right move for the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks second line looked a little different at practice yesterday. Lukas Reichel, who has been playing center throughout most of the Blackhawks first nine games, was moved back to the wing.
Reichel has played in all nine of the Hawks games up to this point averaging 14:32 minutes of ice time per game, but he does not have a goal yet. His -9 in the +/- category is the worst amongst forwards and while he has registered 19 shots on goal, the Hawks need to shake things up for him to get his offense going.
Reichel has won 40 faceoffs up to this point. His 51.3% success rate in the faceoff dot is definitely a positive, but the Blackhawks need him to start producing more. Yesterday, head coach Luke Richardson spoke about why the Hawks decided to move Reichel back to the wing.
Reichel is supposed to be one of the faces of this Blackhawks team down the line. There is a reason fans should consider adding his jersey to their collection.
While the decision to move Reichel over to the wing is definitely the right one, there is one issue that still needs to be addressed. The Blackhawks have Reichel on the wing on the second line with Andreas Athanasiou down the middle and Taylor Raddysh on the other wing.
Athanasiou and Reichel built up some great chemistry last season, but the decision to not play Reichel with Bedard is interesting to say the least.
If the Hawks want to give Reichel a shot on the wing to spark things offensively, it would make the most sense to play him with a great play maker like Connor Bedard.
The Hawks expect Bedard and Reichel to both be here for a long time, why not start to build their chemistry in Bedard’s rookie season by letting the two young stars play together? The Hawks still have a few days off, but keep an eye on Reichel during the Hawks next home game this Saturday.