Devils shutout Blackhawks in Lukas Reichel's season debut
How about that for a reintroduction into the NHL?
With Jonathan Toews out because of a non-COVID related illness, the Blackhawks called up Lukas Reichel from Rockford. He had 11 games of NHL experience last season, but Tuesday was his first appearance this season.
And what better way to remind a young, new player about the competition in the world's best hockey league than losing to the league's best hockey team, the New Jersey Devils 3-0.
Devils' defenseman Dougie Hamilton wasted no time telling the 20-year-old left-winger what his team is all about, as Hamilton cut backdoor on Reichel and scored off a sharp pass from Jack Hughes, who leads his team in points (31). In just 11 minutes and a blink of Reichel's eye, the Devils led 1-0.
"Lots of speed, both ways," coach Luke Richardson said about the Devils. "They track, you don't have much time with the puck, and when they have the puck, they're dangerous. I know they stretch things out, so we gotta be careful that people don't get behind us."
So, that style of goal was clearly in the scouting report, but it's hard to imagine Reichel had any time to look at it, seeing as he arrived in New Jersey about two and a half hours before the game.
Reichel said he didn't even eat lunch.
The second goal didn't come as much of a surprise either.
The Devils have the fourth-most goals (93) and goals per game (3.72), and the Blackhawks have allowed the 10th-most goals (61) and eighth-most per game (3.58), so it was somewhat expected that Nico Hischier slapped in his 11th goal of the season in the second period. Just as it wasn't shocking when Jesper Bratt scored a second-period power play goal off another Hughes assist.
It was a tough way to start off Reichel's 2022-23 stint with the Blackhawks, however long that might be.
But with a home game against the Jets on Friday, perhaps he will have the opportunity to show off in front of Chicago once again.