Key 2: Better puck management
Without a doubt, Kubalik can score goals. He’s shown this throughout his career, however, there’s one area where he seems to struggle sometimes, and that is his puck management. His ability to make and received passes can be a bit rough.
HIs shot makes him a valuable player for Chicago, as well as his ability to quickly get the puck to the net. However, he’s not someone who can reliably distribute the puck. One season isn’t enough to judge him by, but after seeing him play, he appears to struggle when it’s time for him to move the puck. His possession metrics say he’s ok, but after watching his shifts all year, it looks like he tends to mishandle the puck.
Whether it’s bobbling passes that are made to him or making poorly timed passes to teammates, Kubalik is a bit lacking in this aspect of his game. It’s a shame as well because quality puck management is essential in today’s NHL. Hopefully, this is something he works on during the offseason, because it’s an area that needs improvement.
To be fair, the mediocre puck management is a problem almost all of Chicago’s roster displayed last year, but Kubalik was playing on the top line along with Captain Toews. It’s fair to ask that the standard be set a little higher for the players that are supposed to exemplify the best the team has to offer. It’s also only fair to expect a little bit more from Kubalik’s puck management next year.