Blackhawks News

Bickell & Lucic: Comparing Beginnings Of Big Contract Years

By Joe Kremel
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Oct 19, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) scores a goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Shots / Hits

There is always something a player can do even if he isn’t producing.  When a player has the puck, getting shots on goal can be a good indicator if the player is at least getting into a good shooting position.  Bickell has shot the puck 14 times, while Lucic fired off 16 shots.  Bicks ends up with the better shooting percentage at the ten game point, but that doesn’t make up for his overall lack of offensive production.  Still, Bickell has taken advantage of his scoring chances so it’s hard to be too upset.  The favor swings back to Lucic when it comes to the things players do off the puck.  Lucic dominated Bickell in hits to the tune of 39 – 15.  Last season you could give Bickell a break due to the teams dominance in the puck possession department.  Unfortunately, this year’s squad has not been as strong in that area.  With all the dead third periods that the Hawks have put their fans through, you would think Bickell could provide some much needed energy with some big hits.  That has not been the case.  Bickell has pulled a fading act as he has been known to do.

In the end, Lucic is the winner at the ten game mark.  His point production and play off the puck give him a more rounded game.  Lucic had greater expectations going into that first year in his big contract than Bickell did.  That doesn’t mean Bickell was expected to drop into a third or fourth line role.  He was expected to start on the top line with Toews and Kane.  He wasn’t able to do much with that opportunity.  Despite the negative review on Bickell, this is still only ten games into the season.  Bickell is currently on a four game goal streak, and has shown some great patience with the puck.  It will be interesting to see what happens by the 48 game mark.  It might warrant another comparison.