It is good to see that Taylor Hall is back taking shifts with the team after suffering a lower body injury against the Lightning last Thursday. After some time on the wing, Lukas Reichel finds himself back in the 2c position. I feel a little bit better with it this time as he currently has Hall and Raddysh on his wings, which will be a nice change of pace for him. Prior to this, he did not have anyone on his line that really could produce for him, and it seemed like he took it upon himself to do too much, and with that, I think he lost his game a bit. Adding the vet Hall and a good power forward in Raddysh, he should be able to simplify his game and focus on what he needs to do out there. Unfortunately, this pairing will have to wait at least one more game, as Coach Richardson said today that Hall will not be in against the Lightning. With back-to-back games this weekend, you have to assume he could be back in one of those.
Nikita Zaitsev was not practicing for personal reasons today, and I am not sure if that is going to keep him out of the lineup tomorrow, but if it does, I am actually excited for the kids taking over on D. Vlasic has been beyond impressive and has seen a jump to the first pairing and the chance to play lots of minutes. Korchinski and Kaiser are both playing their roles very well, with Kaiser seeing more PK time. Phillips has always impressed me with his short sample size in his career so far. I am loving the youth movement and Coach Richardson picking his moments to let the kids play, and I think now is a good time to try this before we get to a very intense couple of weeks of Hawks hockey.
I absolutely love Reichel getting minutes with PP1. I have been ready to see him and Bedard work together out there, and if it can't be together on a line just yet, let's make the powerplay a force. I still wish they would try Korchinski in that D spot on the first unit; I think he could handle the role well, and with the way Jones approaches the powerplay and the struggle it has been to score, why not try something different?
That’s it for me for now, Ill be back tomorrow with a preview for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. As always. Lets Go Hawks! Check out the latest WCBPodcast!