All eyes were on number 3 in general, Kirby Dach during Sunday's game when he made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks, but the story that led to puck drop was where he would come in the line-up.
Would he be broken into as a winger or would the Blackhawks put him in the middle of his natural position? And if so, where? The answer to the first question was the last one and the second one generated excitement among the fan base as the team ran through the line during warm-up.
Dach established himself as the second-line center with Patrick Kane on the right wing and Dylan Strome went over to the left wing. That is a number 3 general choice (Dach) in addition to another number 3 general choice (Strome) and a number 1 general choice (Kane), who is three times Stanley Cup champion and Hart Trophy winner.
When they were on ice on 5-in-5 against Washington, they had eight shot attempts and nine against and four scoring opportunities for and five against in 12:27 ice age, according to Natural Stat Trick. Not great but not terrible.
On paper the trio really has a lot of potential and it is enough for Kane to feel that this can be a rule that stays forward.
"I thought he played well," Kane said about Dach's debut. "Has done some striking things where he is hanging on the puck, big body, he is clearly still a young child. Pretty raw, but for his first game against a really good team, one of the better teams in the competition, I thought that he was noticeable had some good shifts. I think some chemistry needs to be built. I think we can be even better. Better with him, myself and Strome, we can be better for him. "
Dach said after the morning skate that he wasn't sure where he would fit in the line-up. But he discovered shortly afterwards and after the game talked about what it was like to play with Kane and Strome.
"It was pretty cool," Dach said. "Obviously grew up watching Kaner and how successful he has been in his career and Stromer comes in his own way and how good of a player he is. They made it easy to play with those guys. It was fun. I liked it it's fun to play with them. "
The Blackhawks are back in action against the Vegas Golden Knights, one of the top teams in the Western Conference, on Tuesday and expect the Strome-Dach-Kane line to get a crack together if they want to reinforce their report on the ice.
"I'm watching his game, he's pretty responsible," said coach Jeremy Colliton about Dach. "He doesn't look like a centerman who's going to struggle at his own end. He looks like he knows what he's doing down there. It won't be perfect, but there's the chance for him to get much better very quickly. We will see how it works out. "
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