Blackhawks: Taxi squad players that should get a chance in the lineup

Jeremy Colliton, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jeremy Colliton, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to be missing a few players for a little bit of time. With Alex DeBrincat and Adam Boqvist entering the NHL’s COVID protocol list, the team will be without two of their top players.

In a press release yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that the team would be missing Boqvist and DeBrincat until the league clears them. Obviously, it was expected that players would miss time for reasons like this, so the ‘Hawks do have some players they can turn to at this time.

Alex DeBrincat has been on fire so far this season, putting up six points in six games. He has been a critical part of the team’s power play and has made the top six better. After an iffy season in 2019-20, DeBrincat has started the year on the right note. Missing him from the lineup will be tough for the Blackhawks.

Boqvist has not had the best start this season. He has continued where he left off in the playoffs last season, aka making some mistakes. Taking Boqvist out of the lineup might have been necessary before this news was announced, so now the team can use his spot to see where some of the other young defensemen are at with their development.

There are a few members of the taxi squad that could help fill the gaps in the Chicago Blackhawks lineup.

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There are a few taxi squad players that I hope get a shot in the next few games. Personally, I hope we see Wyatt Kalynuk. Kalynuk has not played an NHL game yet, and he earned his spot on the taxi squad during training camp. If he gets a chance and plays well, he could be in the conversation of being on the same level as Mitchell and Boqvist.

Brandon Pirri would be a good fit in the lineup if the ‘Hawks wanted to replace DeBrincat with a more offensive-minded forward. Lucas Wallmark will most likely get back into the lineup, but Pirri is just a few years removed from putting up 12 goals in 31 games in Vegas.

In one game this season, Pirri is a negative two in the plus-minus department, and he did not really do anything to keep him on the roster after that one game. So while Pirri might be the best player to help the team win, they might give someone like Mackenzie Entwistle a chance instead.

With DeBrincat and Boqvist out, here is how I think the lineup should look tonight.

Kubalik – Suter – Kane

Kurashev – Strome – Shaw

Janmark – Soderberg – Pirri

Hagel – Kampf – Carpenter

Keith – Murphy

Zadorov – Kalynuk

de Haan – Mitchell

The Blackhawks’ next couple of games will be closer than they were against Detroit. Hopefully, the team is up to the challenge, and the young players are up to the challenge!