Given the circumstances around his departure from the Chicago Blackhawks organization, there is little doubt that Kirby Dach had circled November 25th on his calendar. At the end of a 3-2 Canadiens shootout win, it was Dach skating along the boards with one hand cupped to his ear, soaking up the last moments of the return to his former home.
One of Kent Hughes’s biggest off-season gambles has continued to bear a bountiful harvest of results through the first quarter of the NHL season. Through 21 games Kirby Dach has 17 points (4G, 13A) and is well on his way to shattering his previous career highs from his time in Chicago.
Dach has become a stabilizing presence on a line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, bringing a quiet defensive ability that the line was previously lacking. The trio of young stars continues to ruin narratives, models, and poorly worded tweets every single night. Against Chicago, Dach clocked in at 68.4% shot-attempt share at five-on-five — outpaced only by Suzuki and Caufield in that regard.
Even more impressive, all three members had an expected-goals percentage of 87.9% on the night, tops on the Canadiens and second in the game. In short, the young trio dominated another game, and it’s a hugely promising sign for the next steps in their careers, especially Dach.
The Montreal Canadiens took a huge risk on bringing Dach into the fold on night one of the 2022 NHL Draft. Dach has responded to the pressure by showing why he was a third overall pick, and every night it becomes more baffling why Chicago decided to jettison him so easily.
While scoring a game-winning goal in overtime will likely be one of the greatest moments for Dach this year, rolling back into Chicago, dominating your former club in possession, and then winning the game in a shootout might top it. The Kirby Dach redemption tour isn’t going to slow down at this point, and blowing through the Windy City with a flourish always seemed to be part of the itinerary.