Growth From Regular Season To Playoffs
When I think of the growth during the 140-plus days without hockey, Kirby Dach comes to my mind. He grew, not only in size, but he became a stronger player on the ice. He was stronger on his edges, he was in great spots, and he showed that he will be a goal-scorer in the NHL.
Dominik Kubalik improved from the regular season, where he scored 30-goals and the playoffs where he broke an NHL record for most points in a debut playoff game for a rookie. These notable jumps in play are why fans are excited about the future.
There were a few declines in play this season though, the biggest once being Alex DeBrincat. DeBrincat went from a 40-goal season to just an 18-goal season between 2019 and 2020. That’s something that needs to change.
Alexander Nylander didn’t show up for much of the playoffs. He was benched, which was much needed. Dylan Strome started on the second line but was quickly finding his way down the lineup after inconsistent play.
We can chalk this up to younger players needing time to progress, but it’s a contract year for Strome. I expected more out of him in the playoffs. That could be a concern though that needs to be addressed in the offseason.
Still, the majority of the play improved in the playoffs. They just ran into a really strong, 4-lined Vegas Golden Knights team that was better at every position. 2020-21 will be different. These players have a year of playoff experience under their belts and will do better in the playoffs, the next time they come around.
"Blackhawks: Kirby Dach’s playoff point-streak compares to Eddie Olczyk"
The future is bright. Expect another jump in play from these younger players between now and December 1st, 2020.