Question 1: The most underwhelming offensive player is probably one we all should have expected, and his name is Patrick Sharp. He’s a grizzled veteran, but seeing him blast pucks into the goalie’s chest brings back bad memories. He’s alright on the bottom six, but has he done anything really since opening night?
Question 2: For defense it’s easy to just say Brent Seabrook, but to me he’s alright. The player I’m disappointed in right now is Duncan Keith. His turnover against the Predators changed the entire momentum of that game. He’s still the best Blackhawks defenseman, but for a two-time Norris Trophy winner, I want more from No. 2!
Question 1: Alex DeBrincat is the most underwhelming forward so far. Part of the problem is the immense hype that came with his arrival. The other part has to do with how he has been utilized.
His spot on the third line was not a good fit with Patrick Sharp and Artem Anisimov. After his one game on the top line in which I charted performances, he did not have a positive effect, but I feel he showed flashes of high-end skill. Instead of being given more time, he was thrown on the fourth line, which is not where he belongs at any time.
Question 2: Connor Murphy would be the most underwhelming defenseman. As with DeBrincat, expectations for him to replace Niklas Hjalmarsson are a perspective problem. And again, how he has been utilized has been a problem.
While not a total disaster, he has been given a short leash by coach Joel Quenneville. I like his physical presence and heavy shot, but this young defenseman’s development is being thwarted by changing partners and being in and out of the lineup.