CHICAGO – Lukas Reichel has the proverbial weight off his shoulders now. The one that hovered, suffocated, and reminded for 13 games until Reichel finally found the back of the net on the Blackhawks power play Thursday night.
The funny thing? It took him a second to realize what happened.
“I didn’t even know that I scored,” Reichel said. “I thought [Corey]Perry had a stick on it, so I didn’t even know.”
Then it hit him and well, he was quite declarative.
“But then I was like, ‘Yeah, fu-king right,” Reichel said.
So goes the mood when one has been seeking the back of the net since the season started. Despite the tally, the end result was what mattered most and in the end, they still didn’t get enough in the 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
“I still think we didn’t play good enough in the offensive zone,” Reichel said. “We’ve got to create more in the offensive zone. It’s more like defense all the time, and then we never create from the d-zone to o-zone. We’ve got to be better at that.”
Blackhawks Still Looking For More Goals
With a pair on Thursday, the Blackhawks nudged up to 36 on the season but headed into the game 31st in the league with goals. Perry potted the other but again it was a performance that the Hawks wish resulted in more chances and ultimately, more goals.
So what’s the problem?
“We didn’t have a lot of shots, and we didn’t hang onto pucks,” Reichel said.
Perry thinks not shooting enough contributed as well.
“I think we passed up a lot of shots, especially in that second period,” Perry said. “We had some good shifts and we tried to maybe be a little too cute where some of those pucks have to get on net.”
The Tampa Bay plan was to keep Connor Bedard harnessed and harness they did. A talented team like the Lightning can bottle up just about anyone, but their plan worked and off they skated with the victory.
“They’re a good team,” head coach Luke Richardson said. “I think they played us really well the last half of the game and unfortunately we didn’t have enough time with the puck. We had a nice rush on the one goal. But other than that, we didn’t really have too much.”
A pair of goals that didn’t exclusively belong to Bedard is certainly a start. But the Blackhawks know there’s still a lot of work to go when it comes to not only generating more chances, but putting more numbers on the scoreboard.