It’s a little collection of everything as scrimmages take hold for the Chicago Blackhawks and the first preseason game creeps closer on Thursday.
The scrimmage on Tuesday saw Connor Bedard wowing as usual and Lukas Reichel really taking over at times. It’s certainly a positive when the two players fans are hoping absolutely hit look the part in scrimmage.
Connor Bedard is the best player on Team Red. Lukas Reichel is the best player on Team White.
This is good news for Chicago. #Blackhawks
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) September 25, 2023
Of course, it’s still a scrimmage. But Bedard, for any fans outside Chicago gorging themselves on a steady diet of sour grapes, is absolutely the real deal. It’s the same generational play seen in the World Junior Championships, the Western Hockey League, or the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase. There it was again today–except now it’s with NHL players.
Reichel had a great season last year at the AHL level and then put up 15 points (7-8) in 23 games with Chicago. This is his go-year. Could today have been the appetizer to the main course of his dominance down the road?
Maybe it’s more, as Reichel mused, about being selfish? After stating how he would pass more last year, especially on a two-on-one’s, Reichel is seeking to alter his mindset.
“I feel like this year I’ll try to shoot it more and be more selfish,” Reichel said. “Sometimes, yeah, I’m too nice. I try to make my teammates better and sometimes you just gotta shoot it–shoot with confidence.”
If that confidence mirrors what was on display in the scrimmage, he may want to shoot way more often.
But being selfish? Nah.
Blackhawks Need Scoring This Year
Reichel shouldn’t feel selfish for taking the shot instead of looking to pass–as Monday’s version of Blackhawks by the numbers revealed. It’s been tough sledding for Blackhawks goal scorers, and more opportunity for Reichel only bolsters the Blackhawks this season.
Bedard is going to score at will and likely set up teammates to as well. But Reichel’s confidence to shoot first and ask questions later should be something that can help whether he remains at center or goes back to wing.
Though this season will be a rebuild, it’s also one that could really build a foundation for the Blackhawk. Of course, there’s something to be said to start the foundation now knowing full well that only a handful will remain on the roster when they’re ready to make jump to contender.
So maybe a little seflishness is needed for the Blackhawks. After all, it could end up serving the organization well in the future.