Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Luke Richardson Is Sending These Two Players a Message To Get Better

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Blackhawks are in the middle of a seven-game losing streak. Scoring goals has been an impossible task during most of those games.

The Hawks have been shut out in three of those seven losses and been held to two goals or less in three others. It is not like the defense is giving up a ton of goals. Only the Seattle Kraken have scored more than four goals against the Blackhawks during this losing streak.

A lot of the offensive struggles have occurred while Connor Bedard has been out of the lineup with a jaw injury.

The Blackhawks have won just three games and gone to overtime once since Bedard went on injured reserve after he was injured against the New Jersey Devils on January 5th.

Head coach Luke Richardson is doing everything he can to get the offense to work. He was not happy with how the team played against the Vancouver Canucks, so instead of giving the team a day off, he held a battle practice.

Another move he has been using is holding players accountable by limiting the ice time of those who are struggling badly.

In particular, he is holding these two players accountable for their offensive struggles...

Lukas Reichel

His first full NHL season has been rough. He failed to become the second-line center the team had hoped for at the start of the season. Reichel has also failed to play up to his immense offensive skills with just 10 points this season. Reichel has picked up just two assists in 2024.

His last goal came on December 19, 2023 against Colorado.

Richardson has moved Reichel up and down the lines trying to get the one-time team's top prospect going. He has even made him a healthy scratch on a few nights. It looks like Reichel will be scratched against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It is a bit of a surprise that Reichel is potentially going to be watching the Penguins game from the skybox since he had a secondary assist recently against the Vancouver Canucks. It might have been too little, too late.

Richardson is running out of options to get Reichel going. Some time playing with the team's AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, might be the only option left.

Boris Katchouk

Katchouk has been in and out of Richardson's doghouse for the entirety of Luke's coaching tenure.

Katchouk has shown some promise as a player who can score playing in the bottom six. He also can check out of a game pretty quickly if things do not go his way on the ice.

That is one reason Katchouk was a healthy scratch against the Canucks.

Overall confidence in his game has not been a problem for Boris. This is a player who was placed on waivers and when no one claimed him, he was sent down to Rockford. He has played better since returning from Rockford in late December. The problem seems to be staying engaged and not getting down on himself the moment he makes a mistake.

Richardson seems to be willing to be patient with a slip-up here and there. What the coach does not like is this giving up that Katchouk exhibits. It is a shame too, as Katchouk could be a solid fourth-line player for the next good Hawks team.

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