Dylan Sikura has appeared in 30 career NHL games. He's been on the ice for 124 scoring chances, according to naturalstattrick.com. Forty-nine of those have been from high-danger areas. He has 50 shots on goal himself. But he's still looking for his first goal.
What did he do to upset the hockey gods?
"I don't know, it's a little bit of a struggle right now," a smiling Sikura told NBC Sports Chicago. "But individually and as a team the last four or five games we've been pretty good. Hope the goals will come, but any way I can contribute or help out ... I'm feeling good, feel like I'm doing some good things out there and helping the team win, and ultimately that's the end goal for us. We want to be in that playoff spot, we want to make a push here, so if it's contributing away from the scoresheet, then that's what I'll have to do and that's how I'll do it then. Hopefully I get one before it's too late."
On Wednesday in Toronto, Sikura had one of his best games in a Blackhawks sweater. He had a primary assist, career-high five shots on goal, was on the ice for 14 shots on goal for and only five against at even strength and had a plus-2 rating. He followed that up on Saturday in Montreal with an even better game, even though the scoresheet didn't reflect it.
For the second straight game, Sikura led the Blackhawks in possession numbers, had six shot attempts (four on goal, one hit the crossbar and the other was blocked) and was on the ice for a team-high 13 scoring chances and six high-danger chances at even strength. That's a formula that will work in the long term and, if he can carry over performances like that, it will only be a matter of time before he breaks through.
"The way he’s playing, yeah, he will," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I’m sure it’s frustrating for him not to score, but he’s being impactful every game, he’s helping the guys he’s on the ice with have positive shifts and he’s making some plays. It just hasn’t gone in for him. If he continues to play the way he has, he’s going to be really valuable for us."
Jonathan Toews has been Sikura's linemate for several games now, and acknowledged that he's been doing the right things on the ice. The Blackhawks captain even gave Sikura a hug mid-game on Saturday after the latter rang one off the crossbar in the second period.
"He's making plays, he's confident with the puck, I think that's No. 1," Toews said. "He knows he's getting chances every night. What else can you do? Sometimes they don't go in and it's one of those things he's going to have to work for his first one and it'll be all downhill from there."
The hockey gods have a way of evening things out over time. Sometimes the goals come when you're not playing you're best, and sometimes they don't go in when they should be. There's a decent chance that when Sikura finally scores his first, the floodgates could open. That's the nature of the sport.
"All throughout your life you go through spurts where you don't score or you're scoring goals that shouldn't be going in," Sikura said. "But I think over time hopefully this is something we can laugh about maybe two or three years down the road. For now obviously it's tough, but hopefully I get that first one and the hockey gods turn on my side and I can get a couple more."
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