A strange phenomenon occurs every spring in the Chicagoland area and no it’s not one month of spring before constant days of 90 degree heat and high humidity. A certain player on the Chicago Blackhawks will go from an average run of the mill player that gets a healthy scratch or two to one of the most important weapons in the Chicago Blackhawks arsenal.
Bryan Bickell is a that link and he’s the closest example to a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde on the Chicago Blackhawks roster. During the regular season he can be extremely frustrating to watch not finishing off checks, not parking his huge frame in front of goalies and skating around the United Center as if its open skate on a Friday night at your local ice skating rink. Bickell has played in 274 regular seasons game and has picked up a grand total of 51 goals in that time ( 1 goal in every 5.37 games) Bickell was instrumental on the third line last season with Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw, but in 2012 and this year he’s been a total lost in the regular season.
A strange thing happens when the calendar turns to April, Bickell becomes a force to reckoned with. After a real shaky 2011-2012 season, Bickell scored 2 goals against the Phoenix Coyotes including an overtime game winner. Bickell was throwing his body around and was one of the best Hawks on the ice during the 6 game series that Mike Smith dominated. Last season playoffs was the money making machine for Bickell who cashed in on his success right to the bank to the tune of $4 million dollars. Bickell’s overtime winner in Game #1 against the Minnesota Wild was a huge confidence builder to kick off the Blackhawks playoff run to the Stanley Cup.
Bickell’s playoff career stats are as follows, 38 games 13 goals (1 goal every 2.92 games) and 11 assists. Bickell doesn’t just scores goals but turns into the player that deserves to make the big bucks. Bickell parks himself in front of the net and starts throwing his body around which creates space for the likes of Toews and Kane.
Flashforward to last night and guess who was in right in front of the Minnesota Wild net, that’s right it was Bickell picking up his 11th goal of the season and taking a look at the calendar it does say APRIL. Just in time for the missing links arrival!
How important do you think Bickell is to the Blackhawks postseason success?
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