Oilers may be done if Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat regains scoring touch
First, how cool is it to have meaningful hockey games back? Who’s still pumped that they could turn on a game and see a live match? Most of what’s in the news these days stink, but at least we hockey back.
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated (YEAH!) the Edmonton Oilers in the first game of their play-in series. To anyone that watched the game, or saw a recap, Chicago’s top line dominated the Oilers, and it was glorious.
There’s a problem with this though, it’s not going to happen every game. Chicago needs depth scoring if they’re going to win this series.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if Alex DeBrincat blew up on the score sheet?
He had 18 goals during the 2019-2020 season, which is great, but it’s a far cry from the 41 he had last season. He’s got the ability, but the goals aren’t there. It’s not for lack of effort either.
DeBrincat finished off the game against the Oilers with 5 shots-on-goal, and 2:28 of ice-time during the powerplay. He was noticeable on the forecheck, he had a couple of good looks on net, but they didn’t go in.
Chicago needs him to get going. He entered the game on the third line with Kirby Dach and Drake Caggiula, and it’s a serviceable line.
Drake Caggiula is a solid forechecker, and Kirby Dach looks better and better with each passing game.
DeBrincat played hard, but he’s probably on that line for the sake of spreading the goal-scoring around, more than anything else. If he gets going again then that means that Chicago has at least one effective goal scorer on three separate lines.
A spread like that is a match-up nightmare. Right now, it’s safe to say that the Oilers will try and stop Chicago’s first and second lines. With the fourth line in a more of a checking role, that leaves the third line to fill the gap.
This is possible, but it’s all dependent on DeBrincat. Dach and Caggiula aren’t snipers, even if they chip in on the scoresheet from time to time.
After watching the first game against Edmonton, DeBrincat can do it. He was all hustle, and the chances are there. If he keeps playing the way he did in that first game, he could be back in a groove, and just in time to help Chicago qualify for the next leg of the postseason.