As the Chicago Blackhawks prepare to jump back into game action after the NHL All-Star break, one player looks to use this opportunity as a chance to “restart” his season. 

In the first half of the season, Lukas Reichel struggled to find his role after a few tough matchups and healthy scratches. With a chance to unwind and refocus, he hopes this will allow him to find some growth within his game and showcase what he can bring to the team. 

“It wasn't the first half that I was expecting, but I knew I had to play better,” Reichel said. “But I learned a lot from it mentally, and what it takes to play every game consistently.” 

The 21-year-old forward recorded nine points (3G, 6A) and averaged 14 minutes of ice time through 47 games this season. He started the year off in the top-six forward position but found himself on the team’s fourth line over the last few weeks.

Reichel speaks on the All-Star Break and performance

While he described some of the challenges he experienced this season, he also leaned on his parents for some support as he continued to navigate his first full season. Over the short break, Reichel spent his time with his parents in Chicago and explained the advice his dad offered him to help build his confidence. 

“I feel like I'm always hard on myself,” Reichel said. “After games, I call [my dad] and I’m mad and [thought I played badly]. He always tried to motivate me and said, ‘Maybe next game.’ He's not like, ‘[you have] to do this or that,’ so it's more like he hypes me up for the next game.” 

One game from this season that he noticed improvement came in the team’s 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames back on Jan. 27. Even though the team didn’t earn the win, the German forward felt he found more of his game after his shot production and his overall defensive game. 

As they enter the second half of the season, head coach Luke Richardson hopes that game can be a starting point for the young forward to learn how he should play and grow from there. 

“I talked to him this morning and I said that's his best game I've seen in a long time,” Richardson said. “He really looked to take charge and break free when there were openings and I think he could have done it even more that game, but I think that'll come with some confidence.”

Richardson speaks on injury updates and Reichel

In that performance, Reichel described the way he skated more in his game and the way he attacked the puck to create more chances. Not only did he grow but found strength in his line overall. 

“I feel like our line was buzzing and we were skating a lot,” Reichel said. We got to pucks and played good defensively. I mean, we lost that game, but I felt like even the whole team played a good game and just [have to] bury our chances.”