3 Reasons To Watch for the Rest of the Season for the Chicago Blackhawks

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Lukas Reichel and Arvid Soderblom trying to bounce back from terrible starts to the season.

The hope by now was Reichel would be playing at a high level and make everyone remember why he was the team's best prospect before Bedard showed up. Instead, he has played like a forgotten prospect.

He has just three goals and five assists through 36 games this season. He had 15 points in 23 games last season. This is a player that has lost his way.

Reichel went from being the second-line center to being moved back to wing. That did not get his game going so he was then a healthy scratch and then demoted to the fourth line. That did not work so he has been bouncing back between the first and fourth line. Aside from an outstanding game against Colorado, he is trending toward a player that is nothing more than a bottom-six forward.

It is going to cost him financially too if he does not get things turned around. He is set to be a restricted free agent after the season. While this poor start is not a reason to give up on a 21-year-old, it is not something you are going to pay beyond a minimum pump pay.

Soderblom has also been a major disappointment. The hope was he would have a firm grasp on the No. 1 goaltender spot, especially with Petr Mrazek set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Instead, he is one of the worst netminders in all of hockey.

He did have a solid game in his last start against Nashville. He is being afforded every chance to succeed because the Blackhawks do not have a young goalie ready to play in the NHL. Drew Commesso needs to finish out the season in the AHL and then probably needs another half of a season in Rockford before he is even ready for an emergency call-up.

The hope is the extra work with goaltender coach Jimmy Waite pays off and Soderblom can finish strong.