The Chicago Blackhawks don’t have an overwhelming amount to be optimistic about currently, but Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat both prove to be bright spots on a team largely without one.
The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t won a game since the 25th of October against the New York Rangers. They’ve won two of their last ten and are currently experiencing an eight-game losing streak.
Of the last sixteen points available for the taking, Chicago has walked away with a total of two. Their defense continues to breakdown and give up dangerous scoring chances to opposing teams. While a new coach in Jeremy Colliton has brought along some shakeups, there aren’t too many positives to take away from the team at this point.
DeBrincat and Kahun
To start the season we all figured DeBrincat would be have a prevalent role offensively for this team.
Last season he beat out Patrick Kane in goals and finished tied for second on the team in points. Though sophomore slumps happen, it was much anticipated that DeBrincat would be back and trying to lead the team in goals once again.
While he’s trailing Kane’s goal count by three currently, DeBrincat is second on the team in both points and goals through 18 games.
Dominik Kahun, on the other hand, was not expected to be this successful. Before training camp opened, Kahun said that he was not interested in playing in the AHL. Rather, he told the media that should he not make the NHL team out of camp he’d return to Germany to play overseas once again.
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Before seeing him play, I laughed this off and said wished Kahun best of luck overseas. Fortunately, Kahun proved me and the vast majority of people surrounding the situation wrong.
After a strong training camp, not only did Kahun earn himself a spot on the NHL roster, but he did well enough to find himself playing on the first line to start the season alongside captain Jonathan Toews and, un-coincidentally, DeBrincat.
Kahun and DeBrincat were both incredibly productive in their time playing alongside Toews. After about an eighth of the season their point streaks and productivity fell off, and in the last game new coach Jeremy Colliton decided to move the pair to the third line in order to allow them to play more favorable matchups.
They skated with David Kampf who helps to provide an above average face-off percentage (team wise, that is) and a strong defensive presence. While a move to the third line may be a discouraging demotion for some, the two of them took it in stride.
As a line, all three of them had a hand in scoring one of the Chicago Blackhawks prettier goals of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Colliton, like us, seems to have also found a bright spot on this team. They badly lacked depth scoring to start the season, but after Kane moved from the second to the first line, I felt that things went from bad to worse.
Instead, DeBrincat and Kahun proved my skepticism wrong and played efficiently and effectively two nights ago. So much so, that the pair in tandem with Kampf are now the Chicago Blackhawks second line against the St. Louis Blues this evening.
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Their success has come in bunches this season, but should Kahun and DeBrincat continue to skate on the same line while getting favorable matchups, I see no reason why the two cannot continue to be productive bright spots on this team.
We’ve been waiting for younger forwards to step up and make a difference on this rapidly aging Chicago Blackhawks roster. In the case of Kahun and DeBrincat, these just might be the players we’ve been looking for.