The Chicago Blackhawks’ first half of the season was inconsistent, to say the least. They are three points out of a playoff spot, and they are in last place in the Central Division. Here are five questions facing them in the second half of the season.
5. Will Alex DeBrincat hit the rookie wall?
Alex DeBrincat had a very solid first half of the season, scoring 14 times and adding 14 assists in the first 45 games of his NHL career. He’s proven to be both a sniper and responsible in his own end even despite his small stature.
The other thing I like about DeBrincat is the fact coach Joel Quenneville has shuffled him in between several lines and linemates throughout the first half of the season and his production has not changed one bit.
The biggest question entering the season for DeBrincat was his size and would defenders easily knock him off the puck or would he get his shot off. One thing is evident: The kid can get his shot off anywhere and almost at anytime, and he has a great knack for finding the scoring zones all over the ice.
The biggest question for any rookie is will they hit the wall. The reason I’m not overly concerned about DeBrincat is he’s played a lot of hockey in the past three seasons. Especially last season, when his junior team won the OHL championship and then went on to lose in the championship of the Memorial Cup. He’s logged a lot of ice time, so I don’t think the wall is something to be too concerned about this spring.