The NHL put its 2019-20 season on pause March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but remains hopeful to award the Stanley Cup at some point. Although it's unclear if or when it could return, NBC Sports Chicago will recap the season of each Blackhawks player to date in our "season in review" series. Next up is Alex DeBrincat.
Alex DeBrincat went into the season with high expectations. He was coming off a 41-goal campaign and earned a three-year, $19.2 million extension the day before the season opener in Prague that will kick in during the 2020-21 campaign.
But the production hasn't come as naturally as it usually does for DeBrincat, who will be the first to tell you he’s his own biggest critic. The 22-year-old winger has 18 goals through 70 games and only seven of them have come during 5-on-5 play, although it should be noted his expected goals for is 11, according to Money Puck, which suggests he hasn't gotten much puck luck.
DeBrincat's toughest stretch came in November when he went a career-long 12 consecutive games without a goal. He snapped that drought by scoring in three straight contests and it was a huge weight lifted off his shoulders.
But then DeBrincat went through another goal drought that lasted eight games and the doubt started to creep in. It was difficult for him to get back on track and stay even-keeled the rest of the season.
The one positive about his game, though, is that he was at least producing on the scoresheet in a secondary way. DeBrincat was on pace to finish with 31 assists, which is just above his 29.5 across his first two NHL seasons. And that's usually enough if he's scoring his usual 30-40 goals per season.
While it was disappointing to see his production dip, DeBrincat’s down season is likely a one-off and not something that Chicago should be too concerned about going forward.
Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.