The Chicago Blackhawks season is not going well and that is putting it nicely.
The Hawks are currently dead last in the NHL standings. While that is great for the NHL Draft Lottery odds, the hope was fans would not have to monitor those chances daily once the team drafted Connor Bedard.
Taylor Hall being lost for the season and Corey Perry's off-ice behavior that led to his contract being terminated started to send this season into a tailspin. Injuries made sure the Hawks' very slim chances of the postseason came crashing into the ground.
There have been some positives this season despite being one of the worst teams. For the most part, there are a lot of negatives that have happened during the first half of the season.
Lukas Reichel is struggling.
He was the Blackhawks' top prospect before Bedard was drafted. It seemed like everyone forgot that. It feels like Reichel did too.
The hope was Reichel could be the team's second-line center and an offensive force on the same level as Bedard. Instead, he has just nine points this season. The plans for him to be a center has already been scrapped.
Now Luke Richardson is trying anything he can think of to get the talented player going. He has benched him, had him skate on the first line along with Bedard, and Richardson has also demoted him down to the fourth line. The result has been a player who has lost his confidence.
However, his most recent benching might be what snaps him out of his struggles. He did not score against Calgary, but Reichel skated strong and was active.
If he can skate like he did against the Flames, and score like he did in December against Colorado, he has a chance to finish the season strong.