Chicago Blackhawks forward Lukas Reichel made sure to make the most of his nearly three minute increase from the last game. Reichel potted his first goal of the season on the power play, spent some time on the penalty kill, and spent a chunk of his 18:28 of ice time flying Chicago’s 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay Thursday night.
Head coach Luke Richardson agreed that there was a little more jump in his performance after finishing off the first goal of the season. But it wasn’t as if Reichel had been loafing all season long, either.
“I think he’s been playing hard all year,” Richardson said. “I think last game before tonight was probably the game he had the puck the least and created probably the least in overall chances. But he’s been skating well and his defensive responsibility’s been pretty good.”
Will it mean a scoring binge here on out? As the old saying goes, it only takes one.
But if we’re playing the percentages, it seems like Reichel will see more success in a gradual fashion than an all-or-nothing one.
Sounding Like a Broken Record, Lukas Reichel Needs to Shoot More
Whether it’s answering questions or playing his game, Reichel comes off as even keeled and one who doesn’t allow the noise to suffocate. Certainly, it doesn’t help when one game becomes 13 without a goal, no matter who it is.
Now of course, outside apperanace and internal thoughts are a whole different thing. Every person has that inner critic that grows louder at times, but the decibel level along with the buy-in to it varies from person to person.
At one point, Richardson even acknowledged there would be some sort of frustration building. Now that the first goal is in the net, how does he build on it?
“He just has to take charge on the offense a little more and shoot pucks and use his skill set there,” Richardson said. “But I think he seemed to look like he was, not relieved but excited and you could see it in his game.”
Taking charge for Reichel means going back to his traning camp quote of being more selfish with the puck. The Blackhawks are better for it and so is he. Obviously, if the pass is 100% the better option then by all means make it.
But Reichel not only has the shot, but the creativity to pile goals–and points on the board. He also has his coach advocating for him to fire the puck at the net more.
“He had a chance in the second period, he passed it off,” Richardson said. “He just has to get that out of himself, take charge and shoot those. Good things will happen. Tonight, when he got one early, I think he should’ve been shooting that puck all night. But that’s definitely a first step and it’s a good sign.”
It will be for the Blackhawks, too, if it keeps up.