Alex DeBrincat was coming off of a 40-goal season for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018-19. In 2019-20, DeBrincat did not deliver the way fans were expecting.
Let me start by saying Alex DeBrincat did play well in spurts this season and I don’t think he’s a bad player. I believe fans were expecting more out of the player who scored 40 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019.
There’s something in sports, hockey in general, that needs to be known. One good year doesn’t translate into a successful career. You’ll see guys have these great years and then people don’t hear about them again.
DeBrincat isn’t someone who fans won’t hear about again. He is apart of the future of the team and is a future Stanley Cup Champion. Scoring 40 goals in his second season with the Blackhawks is special, that is why I had higher hopes for the 22-year-old forward.
He’s played well this season in spurts, but he has had his down moments. I don’t remember much of that during his rookie season and he definitely did not struggle much during his 40-goal season in 2018-19.
2019-20 was a different story for DeBrincat. I think that will motivate him to progress and get better in the offseason. He isn’t nearly close to his potential. He has the potential to be the next Alex Ovechkin or the next Artemi Panarin.
The biggest mistake Jeremy Colliton made this season with switching up the lines was spreading Dylan Strome and DeBrincat around. They work best together, not apart. The Blackhawks have the depth to let them play on the same line together for the whole season. So why switch them?
It comes down to being “too cute” as a head coach. A lot of coaches switch up lines and get away from obviously smart situations to trying to be the “genius” of the league. Colliton has had his fair share of boneheaded decisions, like splitting the pair of Strome and DeBrincat up.
For next season, let’s keep the best friends together. Heck, I wouldn’t be against throwing Patrick Kane on their line again, as they did in part of 2018-19. All of those players can set up plays and score, it would be a dangerous line for opposing defenses.